Wall Street and the financial industry seem to operate in a quiet, secluded manner. No one should be shocked at this fact. Private businesses are exactly that – they are private. The internal workings of a hedge fund, a brokerage house, precious metals company, and other financial entities are not supposed to be revealing privileged information. The cloistered nature of the financial industry does create some problems. Mainly, illegal activity may occur far outside of the public eye and the under the radar of law enforcement.
In order to learn about illegal endeavors, the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) relies on the work of whistleblowers. In the not too distant pass, many people were very worried about coming forward with information. No one wants to see their lives and careers destroyed in a risky move. The SEC and the powers-that-be in the government realize no one wants to take a disastrous risk.
People can turn to a SEC whistleblower attorney for help, but concerns do arise about whether or not the law backs whistleblowers. Legislatures took action to address these concerns in 2010 with the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The legislation made it easier for people to come forward and work with an attorney to blow the whistle on wrongdoings. Protections were put in place to assuage concerns about retaliation.
Additionally, the law put forth financial incentives for coming forward with news about illegal acts. Sanctions against those who violate financial laws could entail levying significant fines against the wrongdoers. These fines could be in the millions of dollars. A certain percentage of the amount recovered might be paid to a whistleblower. The recovery would be 10% to 30% of amounts that exceed $1,000,000. Such a massive amount of money absolutely serves as an incentive to report illicit activities.
In addition to being financially rewarded, whistleblowers can feel a sense of having done something good. Those who work in the financial industry are supposed to follow the same rules as those outside of the industry. The hidden nature of the financial world sometimes provides refuge for those who do not want to play by the rules. Whistleblower laws are intended to cast a light on what they are doing.
Certain circumstances and criteria do apply, which is why it is wise to retain the services of a SEC whistleblower attorney.