Whistleblower rights and lawsuits

Bottini & Bottini, Inc. represents individuals in two types of whistleblower cases: (1) Dodd Frank Act corporate securities whistleblower cases; and (2) False Claims Act/qui tam whistleblower cases. Each set of cases is governed by different areas of law, which are outlined below.

I. Whistleblower Actions Under the Dodd-Frank Act

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank Act”) was signed into law in July 2010. The Dodd-Frank Act established new important incentives and protections for whistleblowers who provide information to the SEC regarding violations of securities laws.

Bottini & Bottini, Inc. has a proven specialty in representing whistleblowers. We do not represent corporations and thus never have a conflict of interest in represeting individuals interested in exposing corporate fraud and protecting the government and the public against dishonest corporate executives.

Don't be fooled by corporations who encourage you to keep your complaint internal and "self-report" suspected fraud within the corporation. History is replete with good persons who were discriminated against by their corporation after being encouraged to report suspected wrongdoing. Under the Dodd-Frank Act, you have the absolute and unconditional right to: (1) maintain your confidentiality; (2) be represented by a lawyer on a contingency basis who has no connection to the corporation nor any conflict of interest in pursuing your whistleblower claim; and (3) the right to recover a financial bounty if the whistleblower lawsuit results in a recovery. If you "self-report" to the corporation, you lose your confidentiality because the corporation now knows your identity. However, if you retain your own lawyer, your lawyer files all the paperwork and can identify you as a confidential witness. Maintaining your confidentiality allows you to keep your job and avoid discrimination. In a recent whistleblower lawsuit involving claims against BNY Mellon and State Street in which a whistleblower exposed fraud regarding foreign currency transactions executed by the companies for their clients, the whistleblower hired his own lawyer and was able to keep his job, avoid discrimination, and become eligible for a large financial bounty. In another recent whistleblower lawsuit against UBS for assisting U.S. citizens in evading paying taxes, the whistleblower protected his rights by hiring his own lawyer and maintaining his confidentiality as long as possible. In the end, as was widely reported, he received a financial bounty of $104 million for blowing the whistle on the fraud.

As a preeminent law firm specializing in class action litigation against corporations for violations of the securities laws, Bottini & Bottini, Inc. is experienced in representing corporate whistleblowers and we know how to maintain your confidentiality and protect your rights.

Whistleblower Rewards

Under the Dodd-Frank Act, a person who voluntarily provides the SEC with original information that leads to a successful judicial or administrative enforcement action yielding monetary remedies of over $1 million must be awarded between 10%-30% of the total monetary remedies assessed by the SEC. A number of factors are considered in determining the total amount of the reward, including the degree of assistance the whistleblower provides.

Whistleblower Protection

The Dodd-Frank Act also strongly protects whistleblowers. It mandates that a whistleblower who reports fraud shall remain anonymous unless a court or administrative body orders otherwise. It also prohibits employers from retaliating against whistleblowers. Whistleblowers who suffer retaliation can sue for reinstatement, two-times back pay and litigation expenses.

What Should I Do If I Become Aware of a Fraud or Some Other SEC Violation?

The Dodd-Frank Act is a very important law that protects whistleblowers and provides financial rewards for whistleblowers who provide "original information" that leads to a recovery. Bottini & Bottini, Inc. encourages anyone with information about potential fraudulent conduct to contact our firm. For a free and confidential consultation regarding a possible whistleblower action, please contact Frank A. Bottini, Esq. by e-mail at fbottini@bottinilaw.com, call (858) 914-2001, or if you would like to report fraud, click here.


Under the False Claims Act, a private citizen may sue an individual or a business that is defrauding the government and recover funds on the government's behalf. The qui tam lawsuit is filed "under seal," meaning that it is kept secret from everyone but the government to give the Justice Department time to investigate the allegations. Even the person or entity being accused of fraud is not told about the qui tam case. The qui tam lawsuit and supporting documents should provide the government with detailed information about the fraud.

The government investigates the allegations, often with the assistance of Bottini & Bottini, Inc., and decides whether it will join, or "intervene," in the case. The government intervenes in only a small percentage of qui tam lawsuits. Although whistleblowers have the option under the False Claims Act to pursue qui tam cases on their own, the chances of success are much higher when the government intervenes in the case.

The False Claims Act states that a qui tam case must be sealed for 60 days, but courts generally keep the case sealed for a longer time at the government's request to give the government sufficient time to investigate the allegations to decide whether to intervene as a plaintiff in the case.

Most successful False Claims Act/qui tam cases are resolved through settlement, although some cases do go to trial. If the government decides to intervene in the case, a defendant has a strong incentive to settle.

The amount of the financial bounty that a successful whistleblower can expect depends on many factors, including the quality of the case as presented to the Justice Department and the work of the whistleblower's attorney to help the qui tam case succeed. If the government intervenes in the case and recovers funds through a settlement or a trial, the whistleblower, or "relator," is entitled to 15 percent to 25 percent of the recovery. If the government doesn't intervene in the case and it is pursued by the whistleblower team, the whistleblower reward is between 25 and 30 percent of the recovery.

For a free and confidential consultation regarding a possible False Claims Act/qui tam whistleblower action, please contact Frank A. Bottini, Esq. by e-mail at fbottini@bottinilaw.com, call (858) 914-2001, or if you would like to report fraud, click here.