The Dodd-Frank Reform Act and Whistleblower Rights
The Dodd-Frank Reform Act, H.R. 4173, is a new law that was enacted by the Obama Administration to help prevent another financial industry collapse. Much of the chaos caused by the economic downturn can be directly attributed to bad financial management of our banking and securities industries, as well as Wall Street fraud.
The Dodd-Frank Reform Act amended the following Acts:
· The Commodity Exchange Act (7 U.S.C. 1 et seq.)
· The Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78a et seq.)
· The Securities Act of 1933.-Section 20(d)(3)(A) of the Securities Act of 1933 (15 U.S.C. 77t(d)(3)(A))
In order to insure the situation does not happen again, the Dodd-Frank Reform Act empowers individuals to be whistleblowers.
WHISTLEBLOWER.-The term 'whistleblower' means any individual, or 2 or more individuals acting jointly, who provides information relating to a violation of this Act to the Commission, in a manner established by rule or regulation by the Commission.
What is a Whistleblower Lawsuit?
Whistleblower lawsuits are also known as Qui Tam lawsuits. Qui Tam lawsuits fall under the False Claims Act (FCA 31 U.S.C. §§ 3729-3733, also called the " Lincoln Law"). This allows a private citizen who discovers fraudulent activity against the government to file a whistleblower lawsuit. In the private sector, if you know a public corporation that is committing fraud or securities violations the law firm of Feldman Morgado can recover money for the whistleblower. The whistleblower does not have to have been personally harmed by the actions they are disclosing.
The individual that reports the fraud can be compensated with a percentage of the money recovered by the CFTC (Commodity Futures Trading Commission) or the SEC (Securities & Exchange Commission). Most Qui Tam lawsuits involve huge amounts of money, millions, sometimes billions of dollars. Therefore the recovery payout to the whistleblower can be significant. The Dodd-Frank Reform Act passed by the Obama Administration was developed to encourage those on Wall Street to report fraudulent activity. Again, the payout can be significant.
In any covered judicial or administrative action, or related action, the Commission, under regulations prescribed by the Commission and subject to subsection (c), shall pay an award or awards to 1 or more whistleblowers who voluntarily provided original information to the Commission that led to the successful enforcement of the covered judicial or administrative action, or related action, in an aggregate amount equal to- H. R. 4173-366
''(A) not less than 10 percent, in total, of what has been collected of the monetary sanctions imposed in the action or related actions; and
''(B) not more than 30 percent, in total, of what has been collected of the monetary sanctions imposed in the action or related actions.
Feldman Morgado litigates Whistleblower claims across the State of Florida in both State and Federal Court. We are Whistleblower Act attorneys who handle Qui Tam cases and Class Action Cases Nationwide. With offices in Tampa, Ocala, Miami, Naples, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale we cover Florida including Gainesville, Clearwater, Lakeland, St. Petersburg, Sarasota, Bradenton and Fort Myers. Se Habla Español. Covering the US, Feldman Morgado also has offices in Atlanta, New York City, Washington D.C. and Stamford Connecticut to serve you.
Don't lose your monetary reward due to "administrative" errors. The Dodd-Frank Reform Act specifically states:
DENIAL OF AWARD.-No award under subsection (b) shall be made- to any whistleblower who fails to submit information to the Commission in such form as the Commission may, by rule or regulation, require.
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PERMITTED REPRESENTATION.-Any whistleblower who makes a claim for an award under subsection (b) may be represented by counsel.
There are many federal statutes that have Whistleblower protection provisions. They protect an employee against retaliatory conduct by an employer for reporting unlawful conduct or for cooperating with state or federal agencies. Similarly, the Dodd-Frank Reform Act has provisions that protect the whistleblower.
What is the Dodd-Frank Reform Act?
The Dodd-Frank Reform Act is the new law that was put into effect by the Obama Administration as part of the banking system overhaul. Created to provide financial incentives for those who report fraudulent activities in the securities industry, the Dodd-Frank Reform Act was implemented to ensure that Wall Street workers can report wrongdoers. At Feldman Morgado we handle cases and class action Securities claims. Read a summary of the Dodd-Frank Reform Act on the US Senate website.
ENCOURAGING WHISTLEBLOWERS : Creates a program within the SEC to encourage people to report securities violations, creating rewards of up to 30% of funds recovered for information provided.
The entire act, H.R.4173, can be found here.
Under SEC. 748. COMMODITY WHISTLEBLOWER INCENTIVES AND PROTECTION, is quite specific about Original Information. It is essential for you to protect your interests before your "original information" is shared or becomes public.
''(4) ORIGINAL INFORMATION.-The term 'original information' means information that-
''(A) is derived from the independent knowledge or analysis of a whistleblower;
''(B) is not known to the Commission from any other source, unless the whistleblower is the original source of the information; and
''(C) is not exclusively derived from an allegation made in a judicial or administrative hearing, in a governmental report, hearing, audit, or investigation, or from the news media, unless the whistleblower is a source of the information.
If you have information that could lead to a recovery of funds, it is imperative that you contact a Law Firm with experience in Whistleblower cases. At Feldman Morgado we will help to insure that if you are in fact the Original Informant, that you get the rewards! Protecting Your Interests. Enforcing Your Rights. Call today 855-4-FFM-LAW.
Why is it important to get legal counsel before blowing the whistle?
Since only the "original" information provider is rewarded, it is important to protect your information. You need to be able to document your information before it is shared! The False Claims Act is an American federal law that imposes liability on persons and companies who defraud governmental programs. Lincoln Law is a complex area of the law under which you, as a whistleblower, are protected. "In addition, the rules make it unlawful for anyone to interfere with a whistleblower's efforts to communicate with the SEC, including threatening to enforce a confidentiality agreement".
Similar to a Whistleblower lawsuit, the Dodd-Frank Reform Act protects the individual from retaliatory action. It is unlawful for an employer to discriminate against its employees because an employee has opposed any practice made unlawful by law. Whistleblower discrimination includes:
· A campaign of retaliatory harassment
· Discriminatory retaliation - gender, age, race and other types of discrimination
· A pattern of adverse actions
· Acts of outright hostility
''(h) PROTECTION OF WHISTLEBLOWERS.- H. R. 4173-369
''(1) PROHIBITION AGAINST RETALIATION.-
''(A) IN GENERAL.-No employer may discharge, demote, suspend, threaten, harass, directly or indirectly, or in any other manner discriminate against, a whistleblower in the terms and conditions of employment because of any lawful act done by the whistleblower-
As a whistleblower your job is protected by law. Employers often retaliate against whistleblower by making adverse employment decisions. If you are a present or former employee being harassed, retaliated against or fired - then you have a whistleblower act violation case. You may be entitled to sue for reinstatement of your job, receive double back pay, costs and legal fees. Protect Your Rights!
''(i) CAUSE OF ACTION.-An individual who alleges discharge or other discrimination in violation of subparagraph (A) may bring an action under this subsection in the appropriate district court of the United States for the relief provided in subparagraph (C),...
''(C) RELIEF.-Relief for an individual prevailing in an action brought under subparagraph (B) shall include-
''(i) reinstatement with the same seniority status that the individual would have had, but for the discrimination;
''(ii) the amount of back pay otherwise owed to the individual, with interest; and
''(iii) compensation for any special damages sustained as a result of the discharge or discrimination, including litigation costs, expert witness fees, and reasonable attorney's fees.
Quick action is vital. It is important to know that there is a statute of limitations on retaliation claims.
''(iii) STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS.-An action under this subsection may not be brought more than 2 years after the date on which the violation reported in subparagraph (A) is committed.
Call immediately, don't delay. If you have original information that can be used by the SEC to catch a company perpetrating fraud, you need to protect your right to be compensated and right to protection from retaliation. Protect your rights with legal counsel today!
Contact our offices throughout Florida - Tampa, Ocala, Miami, Naples, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale. Or call one of our other offices in Atlanta, New York City, Washington D.C. or Stamford Connecticut to talk with one of our Qui Tam lawyers. We handle whistleblower cases, individual cases and class action cases in state and federal courts nationwide.
Call Feldman Morgado toll free at 855-4-FFM-LAW.