Issue 4 2019

CEO MONTHLY / ISSUE 4 2019 17 , Awhistleblower claim, by definition, is a formal submission or complaint that exposes alleged fraud or misconduct within an organization. Fraud Expert Advisors Consultant, Angie Kelly, Discusses Firsthand Who Can Be a Whistleblower You may be wondering who exactly qualifies to be a whistleblower and how do they come forward? Fraud Expert Advisors consultant and experienced whistleblower, Angie Kelly, discusses firsthand common questions about who can be a whistleblower. Who can be a whistleblower? When it comes down to it, almost anyone with evidence of fraud or misconduct at a previous or current organization can become a whistleblower. You don’t necessarily have to witness the fraud yourself, you’ll just need to have documentation that can be used as evidence in your case. Additionally, you don’t need to be a citizen or resident and you may have even been involved in the fraud yourself. Furthermore, participating in fraud does not automatically disqualify an individual from filing a claim or an award. This is especially true if you participated in the fraud unknowingly or under pressure from superiors. Is it too late to become a whistleblower? Generally, the sooner you bring forward your claim the better due to “first to file” concerns. If someone else reports the same fraud before you, it can nullify your whistleblower status. Timelines can be tricky but having an experienced whistleblower advocate and lawyer on your side will be a tremendous asset to navigating your case. Can a whistleblower remain anonymous? In most cases, the submissions under the whistleblower reward programs are confidential and the identity of the person will not be exposed to the public during the course of a federal investigation because the case is filed under seal. Only after the case is settled or dismissed does it become unsealed. If you’ve witnessed fraud in your organization, you can speak to a whistleblower advocate about your options for keeping your identity anonymous. Becoming a whistleblower is a big decision but can be extremely rewarding. If you’ve witnessed fraud in your current or former organization and you’re still unsure if you can be a whistleblower, reach out to an experienced whistleblower advocate. They’ve been in your shoes and can help guide you through the process with your best interest in mind.