SOME THINGS TO CONSIDER IF YOU WANT TO REPORT A FRAUD TO THE GOVERNMENT

There are mechanisms for you to report a fraud to most if not all government agencies and regulators.  However, not all government agencies or regulators have the power to give you a monetary reward for reporting a fraud to them. Some government agencies that do have the power to give out whistleblower awards are the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”), the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”), and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”).

If you think that you may want to report a fraud to the government, you may want to consider consulting a whistleblower lawyer.  Generally speaking, a whistleblower lawyer can help you to report a fraud, crime, or other prohibited act to a government agency or regulator.

8 -SECwhistleblower, whistleblower-iStock_000000347570MediumA whistleblower lawyer may be able to assist you in deciding whether a particular government agency might be interested in hearing about something that you have discovered.  For example, without consulting an SEC whistleblower lawyer, some people may not know that in addition to investigating frauds between a stock broker and a customer, the SEC investigates accounting frauds, ponzi schemes and pyramid schemes, insider trading, bribery of or improper payments made to foreign government officials (to gain an advantage in doing business in the foreign country), and more.

Each government agency that has the power to give out whistleblower rewards may also have its own rules for when and under what circumstances it will do so.  For instance, if you report a fraud to the SEC, and the original information that you provide enables the SEC to bring a successful action against a company and/or against one or more individuals, and if the SEC collects more than $1 million as a result of that action, then you may be entitled to receive a monetary award from the SEC.  However, the SEC whistleblower Rules contain many additional requirements that must be satisfied for someone to be able to claim SEC whistleblower status and to be eligible to receive an SEC whistleblower award.  The SEC Rules also contain some factors that may disqualify someone from being considered as an SEC whistleblower or from receiving an SEC whistleblower reward.  If all of the requirements are satisfied, the SEC must give the SEC whistleblower(s) an award of at least 10% and up to a maximum of 30% of the total amount collected by the SEC.  An SEC whistleblower lawyer can explain the complicated SEC whistleblower Rules to you, and can help you to report a fraud to the SEC in the way that the SEC whistleblower Rules require you to in order for you to be eligible to receive an SEC whistleblower award.

The Pickholz Law Offices LLC has helped several clients to report a fraud to the government, including to the SEC.  Mr. Pickholz is one of the first lawyers ever to win an SEC whistleblower award for a client.  He is also the first SEC whistleblower lawyer to successfully convince the Securities and Exchange Commission to grant his client an SEC whistleblower award over an initial recommendation by its staff to deny any award.  This was the first time in the history of the SEC Whistleblower Program that the Commission overruled an adverse Preliminary Determination by its Claims Review Staff.  (See official SEC Award here.)  Inside Counsel Magazine named this as one of the “Five milestones in the Dodd-Frank whistleblower reward program“.  For related articles click here (NY Times) and here (Boston Business Journal).  In addition, Mr. Pickholz is a Fellow of the New York Bar Foundation, an elected honor that is limited to 1% of the New York State Bar Association membership.

You can find out more about The Pickholz Law Office’s SEC whistleblower practice by clicking on the “SEC Whistleblowers” link on the right side of this page or by clicking here.

If you would like additional information about the SEC whistleblower award program, please click here.

 

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Report A Fraud | Report a Fraud to the SEC