IRS/SEC/CFTC Whistleblower Laws
Whistleblowers who report fraud may have claims under other laws in addition to the False Claims Act. The following agencies provide an opportunity for individuals to blow the whistle to prevent fraud and the potential to obtain substantial personal compensation for doing so:
- The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) offers an informant award for persons who provide specific and credible information regarding the failure to pay owed taxes. Generally speaking, the law provides that the whistleblower may be entitled to an award of between 15-30 percent of the amount recovered by the IRS where the tax liability at issue is at least $2 million. Smaller awards are sometimes available in cases where the tax liability is less than $2 million.
- The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) also has a whistleblower program. The SEC may pay a financial reward to an individual who provides new and timely information regarding violations of securities laws when such information leads to an SEC enforcement action where more than $1 million in sanctions is ordered. The individual who blows the whistle may be entitled to 10-30 percent of the money collected. The SEC program also provides rewards to persons reporting violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), such as the bribery of foreign government officials.
- The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) also provides awards to eligible individuals who provide the CFTC with original information about violations of the Commodity Exchange Act when such information leads to an enforcement action and more than $1 million in sanctions is ordered. The CFTC is also sometimes authorized to pay award money to whistleblowers when the information provided to the CFTC leads to monetary sanctions collected by other authorities in actions which are related to the CFTC action. The individual who initially reports CFTC violations may be entitled to between 10-30 percent of the money recovered.
If you have inside information about fraud or wrongdoing under these or any other laws, you need an experienced attorney to help you navigate the legal process and maximize the compensation to which you could be entitled. Contact us for a free consultation if you believe you have a claim under any state or federal false claims laws.