I know this is an unusual post but someone recently sent me a copy of an unsigned whistleblower letter to the SEC. This post is for that person:
To the person who sent me an unsigned letter involving a company with the initials TEG or EA (I don’t want to identify the company here) please call me or email me immediately. I can help you!
You have a very interesting whistleblower case, but it appears from your letter that you are still working with the company which is the subject of your report. Understandably, you are concerned about protecting your identity and your job. I get it.
The good news is that the SEC’s whistleblower rules provide attorneys with powerful ways to protect your identity, and from retaliation by the company – but there is a catch.
In order to submit a tip submit anonymously you must have an attorney represent you in connection with your submission. For my whistleblower clients I typically prepare a lengthy submission with a detailed description of the illegal conduct and the statutes that have been violated, and then I transmit it to the SEC on their behalf.
In some cases my clients prefer to remain anonymous. In those situations my client’s name does not appear on the submission and remains unknown to the SEC staff – and to the company. The identity of the whistleblower is known only to me and will be protected from disclosure by the attorney-client privilege.
And if the company eventually figures out who you are I can help protect you from retaliation. The law is clear: employers may not discharge, demote, suspend, harass, or in any way discriminate against you for providing information to the SEC under the whistleblower program, or assisting in any investigation. In fact, retaliation against a whistleblower will likely lead to a separate enforcement action by the SEC against a company and a civil lawsuit (filed by me). Also, under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, you may be entitled to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor if you are retaliated against for reporting possible securities law violations. We can help with that too.
The good news is that individuals who provide original information that leads to an SEC enforcement action with $1,000,000 in fines and penalties will likely qualify for an award. Awards are between 10% and 30% of the money collected by the SEC – and if the fraud is significant the numbers can be huge. The SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower recently announced that it has paid a record award of nearly $50 million to two whistleblowers, and a third whistleblower was paid more than $33 million.
There are significant benefits to whistleblowers, so you absolutely want to be in a position to apply for an award. But you have not done enough to qualify for a whistleblower award at this point. More needs to be done.
So please, call me!