Gathering Evidence as a Whistleblower

Gathering evidence to be a whistleblower can be extraordinarily tricky terrain. A well-intended whistleblower with poor advice or no advice at all can make serious mistakes and potentially break the law. Can you secretly record a phone conversation? Can you take your laptop home and copy files? Can you secretly record meetings? Is it a good idea to take notes of phone calls or is that just hearsay anyway? To all of the above, the answer is sometimes yes and sometimes no.

One of the most unique aspects of the Commission’s bounty program is that virtually anyone can participate and earn a major financial payout with identity protection and job security. That is revolutionary in its own right. However, since the SEC began announcing large awards, whistleblower law firms began popping up all over the place. This is cause for concern. Why? Because the securities laws are complex and frauds can be extraordinarily complicated.

So how does a whistleblower construct a bullet-proof case? First off, any lawyer who suggests a matter is a slam dunk isn’t being straightforward. There is no such thing as a sure bet in this arena. Remember, another whistleblower might beat you to the punch! And, individuals must meet the eligibility requirements for the program itself. At the end of the day, the best you can do is build the strongest possible submission given the available facts, while applying applicable law to these facts.

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