In an article in the Fiscal Times discussing the SEC’s proposed rules implementing the Dodd-Frank Act’s whistleblower provisions, Jason Zuckerman, an attorney at The Employment Law Group® law firm, asserted that all whistleblowers should be permitted to report fraud directly to the SEC:
A key point of contention is whether the whistleblower should be required to report internally [to the employer] first. The SEC proposal would give the employee the choice of going directly to the government, and would protect the tipster’s “place in line” for the bonus by using the date of any internal reporting in determining whether the information qualified for a payout.
Whistleblowers almost always attempt to report internally and face retaliation while their concerns are squashed, said Jason Zuckerman, a principal at The Employment Law Group®, which represents corporate whistleblowers.
“While some companies have established robust compliance programs, there are also corporate compliance programs that are just window dressing, especially in organizations where senior management is condoning or orchestrating fraud to increase profits,” Zuckerman said. “When a corporation has an opportunity to deal with an issue before the issue is provided to the SEC, that can be an opportunity for the corporation to destroy evidence and to influence what the key witnesses are likely to say to the SEC.”
The Dodd-Frank Act, enacted last year, requires the SEC to reward whistleblowers up to 30% of the funds recovered in return for information leading to a recovery larger than $1 million. For more information about the Dodd-Frank Act or reporting fraud to the SEC, click here.