BREAKTHROUGH IN PROTECTING INTERNATIONAL WHISTLEBLOWERS: NON-UNITED STATES CITIZENS NOW ENTITLED TO MONETARY REWARDS
In a breakthrough for international whistleblowers, a major U.S. anti-corruption law, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, now permits non-U.S. citizens to obtain large monetary rewards for blowing the whistle. The violations may occur anywhere in the world, and the whistleblower disclosures may be made confidentially.
As of September 2014, whistleblowers from more than 80 different countries have filed reward claims in the United States and over $30 million U.S.D. has been paid to these whistleblowers.
The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act is the single most important legal tool enhancing international whistleblower protection. Whistleblowers who reside outside of the United States have the right to report violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and qualify for financial rewards if their information is used as part of a successful prosecution, and they comply with the requirements of the law.
The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act also allows whistleblowers to file their claims anonymously in the United States, thereby minimizing the threat of retaliation.
The scope of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act is broad. It not only covers all U.S. persons and companies conducting business overseas, including foreign subsidiaries, but also covers foreign companies selling stocks in the United States.
A list of foreign/non-U.S. companies covered under the act is linked here.
In addition to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, other United States reward laws may also be used by foreign nationals. These laws cover securities violations, tax fraud and government contracting fraud.
Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto has represented whistleblowers for over thirty years, and has an expertise in filing whistleblower reward claims. You do not need to travel into the United States to file a claim, and Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto can conduct a confidential consultation through the use of Skype.
Although we work with whistleblowers from around the world, we ask that communications with our firm be in English.