Indiana’s securities whistleblower law is still in its infancy. Passed in 2012, the law is barely 4 years old. (The federal False Claims Act dates back to 1863 and the U.S. Civil War.) This week Indiana’s Secretary of State announced the state’s first whistleblower award given out under the law, $95,000 to a unnamed individual who blew the whistle on fraud by financial services giant JPMorgan. The company settled charges with the state and paid $950,000.
Indiana’s securities whistleblower program allows people with inside information about securities fraud to receive up to 10% of whatever the state collects from wrongdoers. Although much of this case remains sealed to protect the identity of the whistleblower, we can share that the whistleblower provided information to Indiana securities regulators in late 2014 about alleged mishandling of customer’s investments.
Like the SEC’s whistleblower program, Indiana’s law is designed to allow the tipster to remain anonymous. The state hopes that more people will come forward if they have less fear of retaliation. This has always been a serious concern in the financial services industry where getting blackballed could make it difficult to find future employment in the industry.
A spokesperson for the state’s securities bureau said, “It is often hard for individuals within the industry to come forward for fear of financial hardship or being blackballed. This law allows us to keep identities confidential and to provide an incentive for those who help us take down bad actors.”
In announcing the award, Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson said, “This case is the perfect example of why the whistleblower statue is in place. Without this individual coming forward, the office would not have uncovered this issue and Hoosiers would still be at risk. Thanks to Indiana law, we are able to provide a safe environment for individuals to come forth and protect Hoosiers from wrongful securities practices.”
Regulators can’t police every transaction and audit everyone doing business in the state. Whistleblowers provide a valuable service by acting as eyes and ears and reporting fraud. By coming forward, securities officials were able to stop others from being victimized.
Whistleblower Awards in Indiana
Indiana is just one of two states that has a securities whistleblower law. It also has a state False Claims Act and a Medicaid fraud whistleblower law. All three laws pay awards to whistleblowers, although the other two pay higher percentages.
Indiana’s securities law limits awards to 10% of what the state recovers. The other two laws pay up to 30%.
Will You Receive the Next Whistleblower Award?
Whistleblowers have become the new American heroes. By bravely taking a stand against greed, fraud and corruption, they save taxpayers money, eliminate fraud and sometimes in Medicaid fraud cases, save lives.
If you have insider information about fraud involving government programs, foreign bribery, or securities violations, you may be entitled to an award. Although stopping fraud and insuring you collect the highest award possible, we also work hard to protect our clients from retaliation.
Interested in learning more? Download our 11 step guide to blowing the whistle (no name or email address needed) or give us a call. All inquiries are protected by the attorney – client privilege and kept strictly confidential. For more information, contact attorney Brian Mahany at or by telephone at (direct).
MahanyLaw – America’s Whistleblower Lawyers