If you know about wrongdoing or fraud, reporting that illegal activity is an important way to limit the damage it can do and to prevent future occurrences. However, whistleblowers should take a few steps before making a report.
Your claim depends on your ability to show the extent and impact of the fraudulent activities. This might include information about the people involved, the violation that occurred and the amount of money involved.
In order to do this, you may collect a variety of evidence. Financial records can illustrate the extent of the activities you report. Many states, including Wisconsin, allow people to record conversations that they are part of without the consent of the other party, and these recordings can help identify the people involved as well as their intent. Emails and other communications can also provide key support. Even notes about conversations, including when they occurred, where they occurred and who was involved, can provide support.
Know your rights
Because of the importance of reporting illegal and fraudulent activity, the law protects and rewards whistleblowers for the necessary information they offer the government. Even if you previously took part in the fraud, you may still qualify for protections for ceasing that activity and making a report.
Whistleblowers are protected from retaliation, but it can be important to preserve communications after blowing the whistle to ensure that you have evidence of this retaliation if it occurs. Whistleblowers are also eligible for rewards for their actions, and they may receive up to 30 percent of the money collected in a case. You may even have the opportunity to remain confidential.
Contact an attorney
There are a wide variety of laws regarding whistleblowers, and protecting yourself can depend on the federal and state laws that are relevant to you. Because of the complex regulations whistleblowers must navigate, it can be important to contact an attorney to guide them through the process. And experienced lawyer can offer straightforward guidance about which laws apply and the ways that whistleblowers can protect themselves.