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Dodd Frank Bounty Law

Dallas Whistleblower Attorney Explains and Pursues Dodd-Frank Bounty Law Matters

What is the Dodd-Frank Act?

The Dodd-Frank Act is a broadly reaching federal act that, in part, attempts to leverage the power of the public at large — or “crowdsource” — investigations. However, despite the promise of the Dodd-Frank Act, whistleblowers still face a catch-22: Report wrongdoing and risk that the internal investigation is not improperly focused on discrediting you, or say nothing and hope that an investigation doesn’t later blame you for willful blindness or conscious disregard. Before reporting under the Dodd-Frank Act, it’s in your best interests to consult with attorney Steve Kardell to prepare for the difficult process ahead.

Under the Dodd-Frank Act, those eligible who voluntarily provide the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) with original information leading to monetary sanctions of $1 million or more can receive a reward. Original information of wrongdoing can include:

  • Fraud
  • Embezzlement
  • Misappropriation
  • Creation of “no-show” jobs
  • Accounting irregularities
  • Larceny

Is there anyone who is ineligible for Dodd-Frank rewards?

The Dodd-Frank Act expands the whistleblower protections of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) by incentivizing internal compliance reporting and extending additional protection to those who do use internal reporting procedures. However, not everyone is eligible for an award under the law. Those who are ineligible for the bounty awards under the Dodd-Frank Act include:

  • Anyone with a pre-existing obligation to disclose the information
  • Most attorneys who attempt to make use of privileged client information
  • Foreign government officials
  • Compliance personnel, under most circumstances
  • Audit personnel, under most circumstances
  • Those criminally convicted in connection to the wrongdoing

However, the business manager, corporate executive or company accountant who independently discovers fraud from nonpublic sources, who reports it internally and who then directly reports it to the SEC within 120 days would receive whistleblower protections and be eligible for a bounty.

What impact is the Dodd-Frank Act having?

The SEC bounty rules established under the Dodd-Frank Act are forcing companies to increase the speed and frequency of internal investigations. To start, these rules furnish an expeditious and convenient means to report and seemingly prevent corporate wrongdoing from continuing. Secondly, they provide the all-important basis for obtaining priority credit for voluntarily reporting existing fraud matters to the SEC. Additionally, the use of internal compliance procedures are incentivized, and potential rewards can be increased for the voluntary use of internal reporting and decreased for the refusal to use the system.

Contact our Dallas-Forth Worth law firm today to better understand the Dodd-Frank Act and bounty law’s impact on whistleblowers

The Dodd-Frank Act is having a substantial impact on both whistleblower law and resultant corporate internal investigations. It is essential that you prepare for and anticipate the corporate response to your whistleblower complaint. Please schedule an appointment with attorney Steve Kardell by phone at 214-306-8045 or online to discuss and plan for your whistleblower report.

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In his new book, "Standing Up to China: How a Whistleblower Risked Everything for His Country," former client & Author, Ashley Yablon, quotes Attorney Steve Kardell about Whistelblower Law.
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  • "Reaching out to Steve Kardell was the best decision I made. His ability to provide immediate insight and direction was very powerful, and a huge relief during a very stressful time period. For anyone struggling with a whistleblower situation, I would highly recommend at least speaking with Steve. After a 10 minute call with him, I had a better understanding of what I was dealing with. Even better, he gave me some immediate hope. In the end Steve did a better job than I thought was possible. Steve was able to get in contact with people in my organization, that I didn’t have access to. Because of his years of experience, he already has contacts in many organizations in Dallas. The entire situation was handled peacefully. I was impressed by his ability to “keep the peace”–rather than creating a battle with the organization. The reason I didn’t reach out to a lawyer initially, was because I thought it would mean an immediate end to any hope of a positive relationship with the company. Steve was able to address my concerns, and in the end I was able to continue to work for them."  -KS

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