Anyone with evidence of corporate fraud can be a whistleblower. Common categories of whistleblowers include current employees, former employees, consultants, auditors, analysts, compliance personnel and competitors. It is important to understand, however, that each of the government’s whistleblowing programs contains different rules and regulations which can affect the ability of the whistleblower to qualify for an award.
Under the False Claims Act, any individual or entity with original information about the submission of false claims to a federally funded program can potentially be a whistleblower. The whistleblower’s information cannot be solely derived from public sources such as the news media, public court dockets, or public hearings.
Under the SEC and CFTC whistleblower programs, individuals who voluntarily provide original information or original analysis of securities or commodities violations are eligible to recover whistleblower rewards.
The IRS Whistleblower program allows anyone with knowledge of a tax violation to provide evidence of the alleged fraud in a submission filed with the IRS. For the whistleblower to be eligible for an award, the alleged tax violation must involve at least $2 million if the violator is a company or $200,000 if the violator is an individual.
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