The best way to make your tip useful is to provide specific, timely, and credible information. The greater the lead, the better. This may include even information whose disclosure violates your company’s policies against disclosing confidential or proprietary information.
A recent decision in Erhart v. Bofi Holdings clarifies that whistleblowers (even whistleblowers who signed confidentiality agreements with their employers) are permitted to take “appropriate” company documents that are “reasonably necessary” to disclose fraud to the government. The judge warned, however, that wholesale stripping of confidential documents that is “vast and indiscriminate” may not immunize the whistleblower from potential liability.
Furthermore, the whistleblower should exclude certain types of evidence. For example, the SEC does not want information that may violate the company’s attorney-client privilege (e.g., documents, including emails, that involve advice from inside or outside counsel). If you have completed your due diligence and consulted with an attorney, and you still have questionable evidence, then you may want to notify the SEC so that its taint team can handle that evidence.
For more information about whistleblower rewards and bounties, contact the SEC whistleblower lawyers at Zuckerman Law at 202-262-8959.
To learn more about the SEC Whistleblower Program, download Zuckerman Law’s eBook: SEC Whistleblower Program: Tips from SEC Whistleblower Attorneys to Maximize an SEC Whistleblower Award:whistleblower_lawyers_012017_infographic
The SEC is looking for specific, credible and timely information about violations of federal securities laws. The more details of which the lawyer can provide the better. However, the SEC is not looking for all types of information. For example, the SEC does not want any documents that may violate the attorney client privilege.