> Whistleblowers: Those who reveal bribery of government officials by persons seeking to obtain a business advantage; those who report illegal customs violations, trafficking, or other violations of law, often risking their job or personal security, and; those who disclose information regarding potential violations of law to appropriate authorities under a whistleblower protection or reward program.
> Qui tam laws: Latin for "in the name of the King", these provisions allows for private citizens to file whistleblower lawsuits, when allowed for by the law, and then be rewarded a percentage of the ill-gotten gains for their bravery.
A few of the specific laws with whistleblower protections:
> False Claims Act ("FCA")
Rewards for those who file qui
tam actions in U.S. district courts concerning fraud that result in a financial loss to
the federal government. Applies to customs violations on imports into the
The FCA can be used to impose liabilities on individuals or companies who commit customs violations at the U.S.’ borders, using paperwork to catch
other illegal activities.
> Foreign Corrupt Practices Act ("FCPA")
Permits rewards to whistleblowers who provide original information about bribes paid to foreign government officials
by publicly-traded companies or U.S. persons.
The FCPA is often known as the law used to prosecute bribes paid abroad.
> Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships ("APPS")
Permits federal courts to grant rewards
to whistleblowers whose disclosures regarding pollution on the high seas result
in a successful prosecution.
> Dodd-Frank Act
Covering commodities and securities actions worldwide, the law is meant primarily to promote financial stability by improving accountability and transparency in the financial system.
> Sarbanes-Oxley Act ("SOX")
Protects employees of publicly traded companies who report violations of Securities and Exchange Commission regulations or any provision of federal law relating to fraud against the shareholders.
> Frivolous Lawsuits
“frivolous” lawsuit is one which is insincere and inaccurate. The concern is
that allowing citizens in the legal process – like whistleblowers – can lead to
abuse of the system.
lawsuits are not a real concern. The justice process is insulated from this
type of misuse.
i. The University of Chicago’s Booth
School of Business study found that “There is no evidence that having stronger
monetary incentives to blow the whistle leads to more frivolous suits.”
ii. On top of this, the False Claims
Act has a provision that requires federal courts to sanction relators who files
frivolous lawsuits (See 31 U.S.C §3730(d)(4)). Since 1986, of the nearly 10,000 cases
files, in only about a dozen cases have such sanctions been awarded.
iii. Law enforcement
investigates whistleblower tips with as much rigor as any other case, and
prosecutorial discretion allows the government to take or decline a case.
c. Law enforcement investigates whistleblower tips with as much
rigor as any other case, and prosecutorial discretion allows the government to
take or decline a case.
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