When you have witnessed someone committing securities fraud, it is crucial you report the violation of securities law to the SEC. The securities and exchange commission will take action and prosecute the perpetrator.
While reporting a crime is the right thing to do, you should know that there are consequences. For starters, your employer or supervisor may retaliate against you. If it is discovered that you snitched, you may be fired. You can even be demoted or transferred to a different department that nobody wants to work in. It is important you learn how to protect yourself after providing a tip to the SEC. After all, the SEC may even decide to come after you instead of going after the main suspect.
The SEC Whistleblower Program provides a cash reward to whistleblowers who provide information that lead to the successful prosecution of suspects and financial sanctions. If the financial sanctions exceed a million dollars, whistleblowers can expect to get fifteen to twenty-five percent of the recovered amount as a cash reward.
If you have been fired after providing the SEC with a tip, the cash reward will ensure you can live a comfortable life. After all, getting another job in the industry will be next to impossible when employers find out that you have previously tipped off the SEC. The following will help you to protect yourself after tipping off the SEC:
1. Hire a Whistleblower Attorney
The SEC does not have your interests at heart. You should know this beforehand. Therefore, you need to take care of yourself by hiring an experienced whistleblower attorney. The ideal lawyer should have a lot of experience helping clients report securities violations to the Securities and Exchange Commission. They should also have a great reputation in the industry, like SEC whistleblower lawyer Stuart Meissner.
2. Use Anonymity
When tipping off the SEC, you should consider protecting your identity to ensure you do not experience employer retaliation. You can remain anonymous through an arrangement between your attorney and the SEC. This will not prevent you from being an effective witness. It will also not prevent you from getting the cash reward that whistleblowers are entitled.
3. Understand State Law
Before you blow the whistle, be sure to read your employment contract, state employment law, federal employment laws, as well as the SEC whistleblower rules. This will help to ensure you know what you are getting into. You do not want to report a crime and end up getting sued by your employer for breach of contract, among other things. That said, having a competent lawyer by your side will ensure that you are not left exposed when you tip off the SEC about violations of securities law by your employer or colleagues.