Report FCPA Violations With a Whistleblower Lawyer
The Average Whistleblower Award is Almost $5,000,000
Reporting FCPA violations is quick, easy, and anonymous with the help of the award-winning FCPA whistleblower attorneys at FTI Law. The first person to report a violation gets the award from the FCPA whistleblower program, so report now before someone else claims your award. The first step is to take our anonymous, award-winning online evaluation:
EXPERIENCED FCPA WHISTLEBLOWER ATTORNEYS
The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA)
The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act is a U.S. law that very few whistleblower attorneys have experience dealing with. At FTI Law, our managing attorney John Joy has been handling FCPA cases for almost a decade. John is an experienced corporate crime lawyer who has handled FCPA cases around the globe. John has represented whistleblower reporting FCPA violations to the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the FBI and the IRS.
The Need For FCPA Experience
Not all FCPA whistleblowers are successful, and the choice of which attorney you choose could make the difference. An FCPA whistleblower submission needs to be drafted with expertise, experience and insight. Many whistleblower lawyers will tell you they handle FCPA cases, but very few are experts. If you are looking for an experienced FCPA whistleblower attorney, then talk to us now.
An FCPA whistleblower attorney should have experience investigating violations in a multitude of countries and industries. At FTI Law, we pride ourselves in the depth of experience we have handling FCPA cases in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and South America. If you think you have information on an infraction you would like to report to the FCPA whistleblower program, contact us now to speak with an FCPA lawyer.
If you’d like to learn more about the FCPA, check out our Annotated version of the FCPA Resource Guide.
HOW TO REPORT FCPA VIOLATIONS
If you have information on a violation, contact us now to find out if you can get a whistleblower award.
An FCPA whistleblower recently received $28 million for reporting FCPA infractions. Make sure you report before someone else does.
The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) is a U.S. law that prohibits bribery. The FCPA is enforced by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which regularly issue fines to companies for violating the FCPA. Of note, the SEC also issues million-dollar awards to people who report transgressions. If you want to report FCPA violations, here are 5 important steps to take:
1. Speak To An Experienced Attorney
If you are thinking of reporting an infraction to an FCPA whistleblower program, it is critical that you speak with an experienced FCPA lawyer. If you report a violation to your employer or someone else before speaking with an attorney, you may face retaliation or lose out on the possibility of claiming a whistleblower award. This can happen even if your employer offers ‘confidential’ reporting or a ‘whistleblower hotline.’ FTI Law has experienced FCPA attorneys and offers free consultations that are completely confidential. Speaking to an attorney will cost you nothing, assist you in reporting the FCPA infraction, and often, the attorney may be able to report it on your behalf.
2. Get Familiar With The Elements Of An FCPA Violation
Whether you are reporting the violation yourself or using a whistleblower lawyer, the DOJ and SEC will expect you to have some basic knowledge about the FCPA. This means you should get familiar with the elements of these violations before you report. This is something you can discuss with your attorney, or check our article on how to recognize one. The key elements will be describing the government official involved, the item of value that was given or promised to them, and the motivation for the actions.
3. Gather Evidence To Support Your Claim
In addition to reporting what you have witnessed, you can also supply documents, emails, or other evidence to support your claim. This will help convince the DOJ and SEC to investigate the FCPA violation within the whistleblower program. However, it is also important that you do not obtain evidence illegally, such as by accessing other people’s property or devices without their permission. When figuring out what evidence to gather for the FCPA, your whistleblower lawyer will be able to advise what is safe to collect and what is not. Even if your employer has made you sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA), you are always entitled to speak to your attorney about these issues without breaching the NDA.
4. Decide Where To Report First
When reporting an FCPA transgression, you may be entitled to a whistleblower award for reporting and potentially protection from retaliation. However, much of this could depend on who you report to first; an accredited FCPA lawyer can help with this. For example, certain U.S. laws provide protections for individuals who report FCPA violations to whistleblower programs with federal regulators like the SEC and DOJ. However, those protections do not apply if the person only reports to their employer. Similarly, if you report an FCPA infraction to the SEC, you could be entitled to an SEC whistleblower reward, but reporting only to the DOJ may affect your ability to claim an award. In 2021, the SEC paid a whistleblower $28 million for reporting FCPA violations.
5. Don’t Delay In Reporting
Both the SEC and DOJ have specific time limits in which they can prosecute FCPA violations. An FCPA lawyer can walk you through the timeline for your specific claim. Generally, for certain violations, this could be as short as 3 years, but an investigation could take longer. If you want the SEC and DOJ to investigate the violation, you need to give them as much time as possible by reporting early. If you want to claim a whistleblower award, this is especially important, as if someone reports the same information you have before you, they will get the whistleblower award. Even if you are the only person with the information, the SEC can reduce a person’s award if they delayed reporting.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS TO FCPA LAWYERS
Please contact us if you cannot find an answer to your question.
When you work for an American company or a company with stock traded in the United States, it’s important to know what the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) says about bribing foreign officials. You might think that the law only applies to bribes paid by companies from other countries, but it also applies to bribery by U.S. companies. And if you report a company for violating the FCPA, you could be entitled to some pretty big financial rewards from whistleblower programs. FCPA lawyers focus on this area of the law.
The FCPA is a U.S. law that prohibits the payment of bribes to foreign officials. The FCPA applies to any person or company that does business in the United States and can result in criminal penalties, including fines and imprisonment for up to 10 years per violation.
The FCPA was enacted in 1977 as part of a broader anti-corruption effort by the U.S. government to maintain transparency within U.S.-based companies that are doing business abroad. The goal was simple: make sure businesses were not taking advantage of their access to foreign officials so they could win contracts at lower costs than competitors would pay if they didn’t play by these rules. Consult an FCPA lawyer for more specific information.
A whistleblower award is a payment you can receive from the U.S. government when you report a violation of U.S. law. An FCPA Whistleblower award is a payment you can receive for reporting violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). This can include providing information on companies that commit fraud, bribery, or engage in corrupt activities. The average whistleblower award is almost $5 million. If you want to claim a multi-million dollar whistleblower award, contact us now.
First, use our online evaluation to find out if you qualify for an award. If you qualify, our FCPA lawyers will handle everything for you for free in exchange for part of your reward. If you don’t get a reward, you don’t pay anything.
The average award paid by the SEC is almost $5 million.
Some whistleblower lawyers, like those at FTI Law, focus on representing a certain type of whistleblower. We focus on representing FCPA whistleblowers, which means whistleblowers who want to report bribery or corruption committed by a company traded on a US stock exchange. Often, FCPA whistleblowers are not from the United States, and we have cross-border expertise that helps us guide non-U.S. nationals through the whistleblower process. If you want to explore the idea of becoming an FCPA whistleblower, make sure to talk to one of our FCPA whistleblower lawyers as soon as possible.
FCPA fines are enormous and often run into the billions of dollars– allowing for significant rewards to be paid out under whistleblower programs. For example:
- In 2019 Swedish Telecom Giant Ericsson paid over $1 Billion to settle charges that it violated the FCPA in multiple countries by bribing public officials to win business.
- In 2020, French aeronautics company Airbus paid more than $3 billion to settle charges that it had made payments to government officials to help its business.
- In 2018, Brazilian Energy behemoth Petrobras paid over $1.7 billion to settle corruption and bribery charges.
With the possibility of such a large monetary reward, it’s wise to consult a professional. At FTI Law, you only pay your FCPA whistleblower lawyer if you win a reward.
A lot of companies have paid FCPA fines; here are a few:
- 2008 – Siemens AG paid $350 million to settle the SEC’s charges of violating the FCPA, as well as a $450 million fine to the DOJ to settle criminal charges.
- 2014 – ALCOA paid $175 million to the SEC and a fine of $209 million for bribing government officials in Bahrain.
- 2014 – Marubeni Corporation paid an $88 million fine for paying bribes to Indonesian government officials in order to win business.
- 2016 – Och-Ziff paid $413 million to settle charges that the company paid bribes to government officials in Africa.
- 2016 – JPMorgan Chase agreed to pay $264 million for hiring relatives of government officials who had influence over JP Morgan’s business.
- 2016 – Odebrecht paid $3.5 billion following an enormous bribery scandal in Brazil.
- 2016 – Teva Pharmaceutical paid $519 million to settle charges that it paid bribes in Russia, Ukraine, and Mexico.
- 2017 – Rolls-Royce paid $809 million as a result of a long-running scheme to bribe government officials in exchange for government contracts.
- 2017 – Orthofix International agreed to pay more than $14 million to settle charges that it bribes doctors and hospitals in Brazil in order to win more business.
Large fines under the FCPA mean it is a good idea to use an FCPA lawyer to evaluate your claim.
Yes. With the help of an FCPA lawyer at FTI Law, you can report anonymously.
Many government agencies pay whistleblower rewards, but FTI Law focuses on helping people report to the most successful whistleblower program, which is run by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
FTI Law focuses on helping people report violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), but you can also report violations of any Securities Law, Commodities law, or tax law to the SEC, CFTC, or IRS.
If you think your company has violated the FCPA, you should say something. However, it is important to understand the risks and rewards associated with reporting violations. First, let’s take a look at the risks of reporting to your supervisor.
If you think your company has committed an FCPA violation and you tell your supervisor, be prepared for potential repercussions; reporting anonymously to a government run whistleblower program is often a safer bet. FCPA violations are criminal, and if your supervisor or others in the company think you are accusing them of being involved, you may face retaliation or harassment, which is why it is important to enlist protection from an FCPA lawyer. Retaliation against whistleblowers can take a number of forms:
- They may not promote or reward you for your efforts at work;
- They could take away perks that were previously available to you;
- They could even fire you because they don’t want anyone around who knows what is going on behind closed doors at work.
Even if your company has a confidential reporting hotline, most whistleblowers will tell you that it is difficult to keep your identity a secret once you report within an organization. FTI Law offers free consultations with an FCPA whistleblower lawyer to help you navigate the reporting process. In addition, if you only report internally you will not qualify for anti-retaliation protection under Dodd-Frank. Ultimately, there is a lot of downside risk for reporting internally, and virtually no upside. Hopefully, someday this will change, and companies will provide whistleblower rewards to people who report violations, but for now, reporting internally is not a course of action you should embark upon without seeking legal advice first.
If you’re not sure whether your company would do the right thing and report itself for committing an FCPA violation, then it’s best to take matters into your own hands with the SEC whistleblower program. The good news is that the SEC lets you report FCPA violations anonymously if you enlist the help of a lawyer. In addition, the SEC will pay whistleblowers up to 30% of any fine they recover as a bounty for reporting the violation. The average whistleblower reward paid by the SEC is almost $5 million. This means you could become a millionaire for doing the right thing.
Another benefit of reporting to the SEC is that whistleblowers who report FCPA violations to the SEC get additional protections against retaliation from their employers. This means that if your company retaliates against you for speaking to the SEC, you can sue them for damages. However, in most cases, these protections only apply to workers in the United States. Employees from abroad can claim whistleblower awards but are usually not entitled to legal protection against retaliation. An FCPA lawyer can also provide protection by advising you on how best to report and where to report.
Yes. On May 19, 2021, the SEC announced an award of more than $28 million to a whistleblower whose tip led to Panasonic paying a $281 million FCPA settlement with a U.S.-regulators. On May 5th, the SEC announced an award of $279 million to a whistleblower whose tip led to Ericsson paying over $ 1 billion to settle FCPA charges.
The SEC receives between 100-200 FCPA tips each year via its whistleblower program. Here are the figures:
- 2020 – 208 FCPA tips
- 2019 – 200 FCPA tips
- 2018 – 202 FCPA tips
- 2017 – 210 FCPA tips
- 2016 – 238 FCPA tips
- 2015 – 186 FCPA tips
- 2014 – 159 FCPA tips
- 2013 – 149 FCPA tips
- 2012 – 115 FCPA tips
Due to the high volume of tips, the SEC does not fully investigate all claims. Enlisting the help of an FCPA whistleblower lawyer can ensure your claim is investigated.
As of December 2022, here are the top ten fines paid for FCPA infractions:
- Odebrecht – $3,557,626,137
- Goldman Sachs – $2,617,088,000
- Airbus – $2,091,978,881
- Petrobras – $1,786,673,797
- Ericsson – $1,060,570,832
- Telia Company – $965,604,372
- Mobile Telesystems – $850,000,400
- Siemens – $800,002,000
- VimpelCom – $795,326,798
- Alstom – $772,291,200
FCPA violations involve a company giving something of value to a foreign official in order to obtain a business advantage. An FCPA lawyer can go into more specifics on what qualifies for a whistleblower program, but here are some examples:
- A company pays a bribe to a government minister in order to win a contract from the government;
- A company gives a job to the son of a government official in order to gain favor with the government;
- A company pays for vacation and travel for a government employee who has control over whether the company obtains a license;
- A company promises a government official that if they win business from the government, the company will subcontract work to a local company owned by the family of the government official;
- A company bidding on a government contract pays money to a third-party consultant who promises that he can obtain inside information on other bids from contacts he has within the government.
The greatest protection an FCPA whistleblower has is their anonymity. By using a qualified lawyer, an FCPA whistleblower can report FCPA violations to government whistleblower programs without ever revealing their identity.
In addition, if the whistleblower works in the United States and reports the violation at their company, the whistleblower is protected against retaliation under two federal laws (Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank).
For individuals convicted of FCPA violations, penalties can include:
- Up to five years in imprisonment
- Up to $100,000 in criminal penalties
- Up to $10,000 in civil penalties
For companies convicted of FCPA violations, penalties can include:
- Up to $2,000,000 in criminal penalties
- Up to $10,000 in civil penalties
For more specific questions regarding potential consequences, consult an FCPA lawyer.
The FCPA has two main provisions:
- (1) an anti-bribery provision that makes it illegal for companies to make corrupt payments to foreign officials for the purpose of obtaining or retaining business and
- (2) an accounting provision that requires companies to have an adequate system of ‘internal controls’ to ensure that the companies’ transactions are recorded properly and executed in accordance with management’s directions.
The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) is a U.S. law that prohibits people from paying bribes to foreign officials to further business. Both the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) are responsible for enforcing the FCPA. An FCPA lawyer focuses on violations of this law, and whistleblower programs exist to encourage reporting.
The FCPA Report is a part of FTI Law’s blog dedicated to FCPA issues. If you want to learn more about the FCPA, compliance violations or whistleblower rewards, check out the FCPA Award Journal here. If you are looking for more information on FCPA enforcement, you can also take a look at our annotated FCPA Resource Guide.