SOX Whistleblower Attorney
We Help SOX Whistleblowers Expose Corporate Fraud – Contact Us to Speak with an Experienced Federal Whistleblower Lawyer in Confidence
Corporate fraud costs investors and other U.S. taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars per year. Despite the mandates and prohibitions imposed by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX), publicly traded corporations still find ways to get away with fraud, and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) relies on whistleblowers to help it uncover financial disclosure violations and other abuses.
As a result, SOX whistleblowers play a critical role in combating corporate fraud. In many cases, employees (or former employees) and other insiders are the only ones who are in a position to expose financial irregularities, recordkeeping violations, audit interference, and other violations. Thus, if you believe that you may have information about corporate fraud at a publicly traded company, it is extremely important that you come forward.
Experienced Federal Lawyers (Including Former DOJ Prosecutors) Representing SOX Whistleblowers
We represent SOX whistleblowers nationwide. Our team of whistleblower lawyers includes former U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) prosecutors who handled SOX investigations and other corporate fraud matters on behalf of the federal government before entering private practice. As a result, we are well-versed in all aspects of SOX whistleblower cases, and we can provide you with the knowledge and insights you need to make informed decisions as you move forward.
While some of the individuals who contact us are certain that they are ready to move forward, many have questions about blowing the whistle. When you contact us, you do not need to be committed to blowing the whistle under SOX. Our SOX whistleblower attorneys are here to help you make informed decisions; and, if you decide to come forward, then we will work with the SEC on your behalf.
What You Should Know As a Potential SOX Whistleblower
When you qualify as a SOX whistleblower, you are entitled to protection against retaliation under federal law. SOX whistleblowers will also be entitled to financial awards from the government in some cases. Here are three important facts about qualifying as a whistleblower under SOX:
1. You Do Not Need Definitive Proof of a SOX Violation
The first thing to know is that you do not need definitive proof of a violation of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. If you reasonably believe that you have information about a past or potential violation of SOX or another federal securities law, this is sufficient to secure protection as a whistleblower. When you speak with a SOX whistleblower lawyer at Oberheiden P.C., your lawyer can evaluate the information you have in your possession and determine whether it is sufficient to confer whistleblower status.
2. You Must Be the First to Come Forward
Generally, to secure protection as a SOX whistleblower you must be the first person to come forward with the information you have in your possession. As a result, while it is important that you make an informed decision, it is also important that you take action promptly. If you decide to move forward with blowing the whistle, your SOX whistleblower attorney at Oberheiden P.C. will engage with the SEC right away.
3. SOX Whistleblowers Are Protected Even if They Are Wrong
If you file a whistleblower complaint under SOX and it turns out that the corporation has not engaged in fraud, you are still entitled to protection as long as you held a reasonable belief that fraud had been (or was about to be) committed. The federal whistleblower protections are designed to encourage people to come forward, and as a result they are very broad. If you are concerned about whether you will be protected from retaliation, your lawyer at Oberheiden P.C. can walk you through everything you need to know.
Common Examples of SOX Violations
When should you think about coming forward under SOX? Violations of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act can take many different forms, and all types of violations have the potential to cause harm to investors and other U.S. taxpayers. Some examples of the most common SOX violations include:
- Preparing and Releasing Incorrect or Misleading Corporate Disclosures – Publicly traded companies are required to prepare and release various types of financial reports and other corporate disclosures. These disclosures must be complete and accurate in all relevant respects. Preparing and releasing incorrect or misleading corporate disclosures can violate SOX and other federal securities laws.
- Recordkeeping Violations (Including Destruction of Corporate Records) – SOX’s recordkeeping provisions are designed to ensure that auditors and regulators have access to the information they need to assess publicly traded companies’ financial standing and ensure federal compliance. Thus, not only is destroying corporate records a red flag, but it is also a SOX violation itself in many cases.
- Failure to Maintain Adequate Internal Controls – Under SOX, publicly traded companies must maintain adequate internal controls to prevent accounting irregularities and ensure the accuracy of their financial reporting and other corporate disclosures. Failure to maintain adequate internal controls—even if it hasn’t yet led to other violations—is a violation that whistleblowers can (and should) report to the SEC.
- Use of Inappropriate Accounting Standards and Practices – Publicly traded companies must use specific accounting standards and practices when preparing their financial reports in order to ensure both accuracy and consistency. Use of inappropriate accounting standards and practices violates SOX in all circumstances—but it can be especially harmful when undertaken with the goal of misleading regulators or investors.
- Interference in External Audits – The external auditing requirements under SOX are intended to ensure that regulators and investors have access to unbiased information about publicly traded companies’ finances. Interference in the external audit process frustrates the process’s purpose, and it is often a sign of financial irregularities or other forms of corporate fraud.
Again, these are just examples. If you have reason to believe that you have information about any form of corporate fraud at a publicly traded company, we strongly encourage you to speak with a SOX whistleblower attorney at Oberheiden P.C.
FAQs: Working with a SOX Whistleblower Attorney
Who can qualify as a whistleblower under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX)?
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 entitles individuals in several positions to whistleblower protections when they come forward with information about corporate fraud. Individuals who can qualify as SOX whistleblowers include:
- Employees, officers, and agents of publicly traded companies
- Employees of subsidiaries and affiliates of publicly traded companies
- Employees of contractors and subcontractors working with publicly traded companies
- Employees of Nationally Recognized Statistical Ratings Organizations (NRSROs)
What if you do not qualify for whistleblower protection under SOX? There are several other federal whistleblower laws; and, if you don’t qualify under SOX, you may qualify under another one of these laws. Our lawyers handle all types of federal whistleblower complaints, and we can represent you whether you qualify as a whistleblower under SOX or another federal statute.
How do you file a SOX whistleblower complaint?
Filing a SOX whistleblower complaint generally involves contacting the SEC. But, before you contact the SEC with information about potential corporate fraud at a publicly traded company, it is essential to ensure that you are making informed decisions. We provide no-out-of-pocket-cost legal representation for federal whistleblowers, and we strongly encourage you to speak with one of our SOX whistleblower lawyers before you do anything else with the information you have in your possession.
What is the “objectively reasonable” requirement under the SOX whistleblower provisions?
To qualify for whistleblower protection under SOX, you must have an “objectively reasonable” belief that the information you are providing to the SEC is indicative of actual or potential corporate fraud. As long as your belief is objectively reasonable, you can receive protection as a SOX whistleblower even if the information you provide does not ultimately lead to an SEC enforcement action.
What protections does SOX afford to corporate whistleblowers?
Under SOX, whistleblowers are entitled to protection against all forms of retaliation in their employment. This means that your employer cannot legally terminate your employment, demote you, reduce your pay, reassign you to a less desirable position, or take any other adverse employment action based on your decision to blow the whistle. If your employer retaliates against you in violation of SOX’s whistleblower provisions, you will be entitled to clear remedies under federal law.
How can a SOX whistleblower lawyer help me?
From determining whether you have sufficient information to come forward to communicating with the SEC on your behalf, there are many ways an experienced SOX whistleblower lawyer can help you. Your lawyer’s role is to help you make informed decisions, serve as your liaison and advocate, and assist the SEC with using the information you provide to prosecute any actionable corporate fraud.
Schedule a Confidential Consultation with a SOX Whistleblower Attorney at Oberheiden P.C.
If you would like more information about exposing corporate fraud under SOX’s whistleblower provisions, we invite you to get in touch. To schedule a free and confidential consultation with a SOX whistleblower attorney at Oberheiden P.C., please call 888-680-1745 or tell us how we can reach you online today.