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    Fa qs Fa qs Document Transcript

    • Frequently Asked Questions (or FAQs) What is the Anti-Corruption Alliance? What is the Dodd-Frank Act? What is the new Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program? Who is eligible to be a “whistleblower”? What type of corporate wrongdoing should be reported? What type of information should the whistleblower submit? What will my reward be? How do I submit a report and collect my reward? Why should I send the ACA documentation if I have it? If I submit a report to the ACA, will it be kept confidential? If I decide to submit a reward request to the U.S. government, can I still keep my identity confidential? If my company suspects I reported corporate bribery or other corporate wrongdoing, can they legally fire me? Are the ACA services free? What if I want to ask the ACA a question before I submit a report or documents? If I am a foreign attorney or other foreign consultant who wants to become an approved ACA consultant, what do I need to do? How do I know that the Dodd-Frank program will pay me?
    • What is the Anti-Corruption Alliance? The Anti-Corruption Alliance (“ACA”) is an organization whose mission is to identify and stop corporate bribery and other corporate corruption. The ACA accomplishes that mission by facilitating the reporting by employees, former employees, and other individuals of corporate bribery and other wrongdoing and helping to ensure that these individuals who report corporate corruption receive the financial rewards promised to them by the U.S. government. The ACA was formed in the U.S. in the wake of new legislation called the Dodd-Frank Act. The Dodd-Frank Act requires the U.S. government to pay a reward to individuals reporting corporate bribery and other wrongdoing. The amount of the reward must be at least 10% (but up to 30%) of the amount of any fine the company is required to pay the U.S. government as a result of the reported corporate wrongdoing. To facilitate the payment of these awards to individuals, the ACA has formed relationships with attorneys and other consultants around the world. In the U.S., the ACA has formed relationships with attorneys and consultants who concentrate in these legal areas and have extensive experience in securing these types of rewards from the U.S. government on behalf of individuals who report corporate wrongdoing. Outside the U.S., the ACA has formed relationships with attorneys in most countries in the world to provide individuals reporting corporate wrongdoing with a local point of contact in the individual’s own country and with someone who speaks the individual’s native language. Through its international relationships with attorneys in the U.S. and around the world, the ACA’s goal is to streamline the process by which individuals reporting corporate bribery or other wrongdoing can receive substantial rewards from the U.S. government and to ensure that the individual’s right to his reward is protected in U.S. legal proceedings. What is the Dodd-Frank Act? The Dodd-Frank Act was passed by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama on July 21, 2010. The Dodd-Frank Act, in original form, spans over 2,000 pages long. The purpose of the Dodd-Frank Act was to restore public confidence in the U.S. financial system in the wake of the financial crisis around the world and to enact legal measures that would help prevent another financial crisis in the future. Among other things, the Dodd-Frank Act establishes the new Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program to help stop corporate corruption. What is the new Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program? The Dodd-Frank Act contains over 500 separate sections and affects almost every aspect of the U.S. financial services industry. One of these sections (Section 922) establishes the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program. A “whistleblower” is a person who raises a concern, through an attorney or individually, to the government about bribery or other wrongdoing occurring at a company or by company employees. Under the Dodd-Frank Act, the U.S. government is required to pay “whistleblowers” at least 10% and up to 30% of any fine in excess of $1 million
    • that the company is required to pay the U.S. government agency in charge of overseeing the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program (which is the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission or SEC). The purpose of the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program is to increase the U.S. government’s ability to stop overseas corporate bribery and other corporate wrongdoing by allowing the whistleblower to share in the tens or hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars that the SEC can assess as fines to the company. Who is eligible to be a “whistleblower”? The Dodd-Frank Act provides that virtually anyone can be a whistleblower, including current employees, former employees, or other individuals with knowledge of corporate bribery or other corporate wrongdoing. If you have any questions about whether you or someone else is eligible to be a whistleblower, click here to complete a brief questionnaire and provide as much detail about your circumstances as you can. A qualified ACA consultant will get back to you for free with a response within 3 days. What type of corporate wrongdoing should be reported? The definition of “corporate wrongdoing” is extremely broad. Acts of suspected or actual bribery should always be reported. Acts of fraud or inaccurate accounting records also should be reported. When reporting, provide as much detail as possible about the corporate bribery or other wrongdoing. If you have any questions about whether your incident qualifies as “corporate bribery” or “corporate wrongdoing,” click here to complete a brief questionnaire and provide as much detail about your circumstances as you can. A qualified ACA consultant will get back to you for free with a response within 3 days. What type of information should the whistleblower submit? The Dodd-Frank Act requires that the whistleblower’s information be "original information," which means virtually any information concerning the corporate bribery or other corporate wrongdoing so long as it is "derived from the independent knowledge or analysis of the whistleblower." In general, all information qualifies. The only exception is if the information is already known by the U.S. government, available publicly through the news media, or learned exclusively from allegation in a governmental report, hearing, audit or investigation, or from the news media. Always presume that any information is “original information” and report it. If you have a question about whether your information or documents qualify as “original information,” click here to complete a brief questionnaire and provide as much detail about your circumstances as you can. A qualified ACA consultant will get back to you for free with a response within 3 days. What will my reward be?
    • Individuals who report corporate bribery or other corporate wrongdoing can recover up to tens to hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars depending upon the total settlement reached by the corporation and the U.S. government. They can become overnight millionaires. For example, settlements from bribery cases arising as a result of whistleblower allegations typically range from $50 million to $200 million with some companies paying even billions of dollars to settle worldwide investigations started as a result of whistleblowers. These amounts are in U.S. dollars. A whistleblower would be entitled to 10% to 30% of that amount. To convert these amounts into your currency, please visit the universal currency converter. How do I submit a report and collect my reward? First, you provide information and documents relating to corporate bribery and/or corporate wrongdoing to the Anti-Corruption Alliance through this website. To do so, visit our “Report Misconduct Now” form. You will need to complete the short questionnaire and upload any relevant documentation to the website, which should only take a few minutes. An ACA team member will review your information and explain to you how you can submit your information to the U.S. government and collect your financial reward. The ACA will respond to your inquiries either through email or telephonically, whichever method you prefer. If you have any questions or have difficulty submitting a report or uploading documents, please contact an ACA consultant. Why should I send the ACA documentation if I have it? Documents are always important in helping prove corporate bribery or other corporate wrongdoing. They also frequently expand the scope of the U.S. government’s investigation of the company. Expanding the scope of the investigation will likely increase the potential fine assessed by the U.S. government and, likewise, your financial reward. In addition, the U.S. government will ultimately decide what percentage of the fine you will get, which by law must be between 10% and 30% of the fine. One factor that the U.S. government will consider is “the degree of assistance provided by the whistleblower.” The more supporting documentation you provide, the more likely the U.S. government will give you credit for providing significant assistance and, consequently, raise your percentage reward from 10% to closer to 30%. In short, the more assistance you give (in terms of details and supporting documents), the more likely your reward will be bigger. If I submit a report to the ACA, will it be kept confidential? Yes. The information and documents you submit and any discussions you have with ACA consultants will remain strictly confidential. You also may remain anonymous if you would like throughout the process. If you have any concerns about confidentiality, please contact the ACA. Provide as much detail as you can about your concern. A qualified ACA consultant will get back to you for free with an answer within 3 days.
    • If I decide to submit a reward request to the U.S. government, can I still keep my identity confidential? Yes. Whistleblowers are permitted to remain anonymous throughout the process until they receive their award, so long as the whistleblower is represented by a qualified attorney in the U.S. (including attorneys in the U.S. recommended by the ACA). Specifically, the Dodd-Frank Act provides that “any whistleblower who anonymously makes a claim for an award . . . shall be represented by [an attorney] if the whistleblower anonymously submits the information upon which the claim is based.” Under the Dodd-Frank Act, the whistleblower has to reveal his identity only when receiving the reward and only on a confidential basis to the U.S. government which is making the payment. If you have any concerns about confidentiality, please contact the ACA. Provide as much detail as you can about your concern. A qualified ACA consultant will get back to you for free with an answer within 3 days. If my company suspects I reported corporate bribery or other corporate wrongdoing, can they legally fire me? No. The Dodd-Frank Act protects whistleblowers and strictly prohibits companies from taking any adverse action against a whistleblower. Specifically, the Dodd-Frank Act provides that “no employer may discharge, demote, suspend, threaten, harass, directly or indirectly, or in any other manner discriminate against” any employee who provides information about corporate bribery or other corporate wrongdoing to the U.S. government or who assists in a related U.S. government investigation. If you have any concerns, please contact the ACA. Provide as much detail as you can about your concern. A qualified ACA consultant will get back to you for free with an answer within 3 days. Are the ACA services free? Yes, ACA’s services are free. You will never be charged for the ACA’s assistance. The ACA’s mission is to identify and stop corporate corruption. If you have information to report to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and would like a knowledgeable attorney to assist you in obtaining your financial reward, the ACA will provide a recommendation. The ACA forms relationships only with U.S attorneys and consultants who have agreed not to charge you directly. Instead, they will submit any eligible information you provide them to the U.S. government in the proper format (as required under U.S. regulations), process and monitor your reward request, and handle any U.S. proceedings relating to your case to ensure that your reward is processed promptly. All attorneys and consultants recommended by the ACA are qualified, knowledgeable, and have agreed that they will receive a fee for their services only if you receive a reward. In other words, the attorneys and consultants associated with the ACA do not get paid unless they secure a financial reward for you. What if I want to ask the ACA a question before I submit a report or documents?
    • It is easy. Contact the ACA. Provide as much detail as you can about your concern. A qualified ACA consultant will get back to you for free with an answer within 3 days. If I am a foreign attorney or other foreign individual who wants to become an approved ACA consultant, what do I need to do? The ACA has a vast network of relationships with foreign attorneys and consultants throughout the world. The benefit of becoming part of the ACA’s Foreign Consultant Program is that you can help identify and stop corruption and, in the process, receive substantial compensation if the whistleblower with whom you are working receives a reward from the U.S. government. The goal is to help the whistleblower fully report the corporate wrongdoing to maximize the whistleblower’s financial reward from the U.S. government. The requirements for participation in the Foreign Consultant Program are that you have an office physically located in a non-U.S. country, that you speak fluently the language of that country, and that you receive approval from the ACA pursuant to ACA guidelines. If the ACA approves your application, an ACA representative will contact you. There are no fees or costs for applying to the program or for being an ACA-approved consultant. If you are interested in applying for or have questions concerning the ACA’s Foreign Consultant Program, please contact the ACA. An ACA representative will get back to you within 5 business days. How do I know that the Dodd-Frank program will pay me? For starters, this program has been established and is backed by the U.S. government. The official text of the Dodd-Frank Act is located on the website of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (or SEC), which is the U.S. governmental agency in charge of the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program. Review the official language of the Act here. For more information, please refer to Section 922 of the Dodd-Frank Act, which adds a section titled the Securities Whistleblower Incentives and Protection (Section 21F to the Securities Exchange Act of 1934). In addition, international media and periodicals have reported extensively about the new Dodd- Frank Whistleblower Program. For an insightful article on the new legislation, please read the Daily Caller’s recent article dated August 9, 2010, titled “Financial Reform Bill Requires U.S. to Pay Millions to Corporate Whistleblowers.” The program also is described in an article appearing in The New York Times newspaper. The New York Times, “Come Blow Your Horn for the S.E.C.” (July 26, 2010): “One provision of the [Dodd-Frank Act] that is likely to give a significant push toward revealing more conventional types of securities fraud authorizes the S.E.C. to pay out financial rewards to whistleblowers that could total millions of dollars.”
    • “Recent foreign corruption cases involving significant settlements include Siemens, which paid total criminal and civil penalties of $800 million in 2008, and Technip, which agreed in June to disgorge $98 million and pay a $240 million criminal fine. The potential whistle-blower awards in these types of cases would rival those seen in the health care fraud arena, such as the recent payment of $45 million to two individuals who provided information about AstraZeneca that led to a $520 million settlement.” “We can expect to see an increase in investigations of corporate activities by the S.E.C. and the Justice Department now that there is the allure of a substantial whistle-blower bounty for reporting information.”