Whistleblower Rewards: How They Work
In recent years, the news has been filled with stories of people, often referred to as whistleblowers, who have revealed private information and turned our beliefs upside down. The news or information was previously secret or in some way misrepresented to the public. Today we will review what motivates someone to become a whistleblower and delve into the area of whistleblower rewards and how they work.
What Are Whistleblower Rewards?
While publicity surrounding whistleblowers may seem like a recent phenomenon, whistleblowers have probably been around for decades. Back in the 1970s, a reporter named Daniel Ellsberg obtained whistleblower fame with the release of the Pentagon Papers, which revealed previously unknown secrets concerning the Vietnam War. More recently, Edward Snowden, a former CIA employee, revealed secrets surrounding expensive NSA global surveillance programs.
These two famous whistleblowers aside, the value of normal Americans as whistleblowers cannot be overstated.
Whistleblowers could be viewed as the truth compasses of our society, exposing falsehoods and misperceptions that prevent us from knowing the reality of a situation. These everyday whistleblowers are not motivated by fame; they see a wrong and want to reveal it so that it can be corrected. Seeing the clear benefit of encouraging whistleblowers to come forward with their knowledge, many governments have passed laws providing “rewards” to whistleblowers for bringing these wrongs out in the open. Today, whistleblower rewards are available to provide financial compensation to whistleblowers for their services in revealing corporate misdeeds, including mismanagement and corruption.
Rewards for Whistleblowing
Rewards for whistleblowing usually provide a percentage of the money recovered by the government due to financial wrongdoing of a business to the whistleblower. Such legal actions taken against an individual or corporation for violation of a federal statute are known as “qui tam” actions. Various branches of the federal government, including the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), have such reward programs specific to their agency. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) also has a program that offers significant rewards to whistleblowers that assist in revealing violations of securities laws. The fees vary between agencies and may depend upon the quality and quantity of the information given, but rewards for whistleblowing can be very significant.
How to Report Whistleblowing
As noted above, whistleblower compensation varies depending on numerous factors. If you are aware of information regarding potentially illegal activity, knowing how to report whistleblowing is essential to getting the maximum whistleblower rewards possible.
Based in Atlanta, Georgia, Evangelista Worley LLC specializes in the areas of whistleblowing and qui tam litigation. In addition to decades of combined experience dealing in these areas, our staff also has extensive experience with international law and contingency litigation law. Let our team of legal experts review the plethora of factors that need to be reviewed to ensure the maximum potential whistleblower rewards are obtained under the applicable statutes. We don’t shy away from complex cases – they’re our specialty. Call us at (404) 205-8400 today for a free consultation.