Have alleged misconduct in the workplace can lead to serious criminal charges. Unfortunately, many company policies can be unethical or inappropriate, which may ride the fine line between unethical and illegal – thus making it difficult to determine if the activity is fraudulent. To add to this uncertainty, employees who report fraud in the workplace, a.k.a. “whistleblowers,” are naturally concerned about how their job will be affected. Read more about whistleblower fraud and how Attorney Ben Stechschulte can provide sound legal counsel.
Fraud & Whistleblowers in the Workplace
Fraud is deliberate, significant misuse or theft of funds that can be committed by individuals or entire organizations. Whistleblowers are individuals that give the government or another higher authority detailed evidence and information about fraud schemes.
More often than not, whistleblowers are employees or contractors of the company or individual accused of fraud. Examples of fraud in the workplace include:
- Healthcare organizations that commit fraud by regularly encouraging employees to up code or unbundle Medicare services.
- Defense contractors who knowingly charge the government for faulty equipment.
- A publicly-traded company who deliberately misleads investors or engages in money laundering, insider trading, or other securities violations.
These whistleblower allegations can be severely damaging to your reputation and future ability to work. Contact our South Tampa based law firm to see how we can help defend various forms of fraud charges – (813) 280-1244.
Related > Securities Fraud Defense
Florida Laws on Reporting Fraud
In the state of Florida, presently two primary laws that protect employees from retaliation for reporting fraud. First is the Florida Whistleblower Act which protects from retaliation against public employees who report fraud in the workplace. Second is the Florida Private Sector Whistleblower Act which protects whistleblowing employees in the private sector.
While there are many protections in place to protect a whistleblower in the workplace, there are fewer protections for the accused. Fraud allegations may include substantial assistance and information from a whistleblower who knows of possible securities law or other legal violations. This cooperation is one of the most powerful weapons that law enforcement will use to help attempt to prove a case against you.
Combating Whistleblower Allegations
Many of these whistleblower allegations will be submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Through their first-hand knowledge of the circumstances and individuals involved in the act, whistleblowers help the Commission identify potential fraud and other violations of State and Federal law.
In the cases of whistleblowers, law enforcement tends to move through these allegations quickly in an effort to minimize the harm to shareholders, investors, and try to quickly hold accountable those responsible for unlawful conduct. This rush can lead to charges based on faulty or potentially fraudulent information that doesn’t come to light until much later, sadly causing potential irreparable harm to your future.
Whistleblower fraud can happen as The Commission is authorized by Congress to provide monetary awards to eligible individuals who present the SEC with high-quality information that leads to enforcement action. In some cases, the awards from the ordered sanctions can range between 10-30% of the monies collected.
Stechschulte Nell is here to answer any questions you may have if you or a loved one is accused of wrongdoing by a whistleblower. You need to have help on your side to protect against these potentially life-altering allegations. Contact us today for a free case review. We’re available 24/7 in case you receive notice that you are the target of an investigation.
Defending Fraud Claims by Whistleblowers
If you have been accused of fraudulent activity in the workplace, and are concerned about the repercussions, it is critical to have an experienced attorney on your side. Our Tampa law firm is well-versed in both and can protect your rights against a fraudulent whistleblower claim to the SEC.
Attorney Ben Stechschulte will not only advise you on how to proceed with the investigation and any interviews you may be asked to participate in. Our experienced defense team will serve as your representation every step of the way.
For more information about our Tampa, FL criminal defense law firm or to schedule a FREE consultation, please call 813-280-1244.