The US Government loses billions of tax money annually due to some companies incorrectly declaring their tax returns. In an effort to save money companies may resort to fraudulent transactions such as falsifying reports about the quality of their goods and services, stealing corporate resources and other schemes that constitute accounting fraud. To address this issue, the US General Accounting Office started the whistle-blowing initiative in 1979 as a mechanism to combat fraud and abuse in the private and federal sector. Since then there had been thousands of cases that were filed against businesses that cheat with their income tax returns, and many honest citizens have been rewarded for disclosing information about corporate crime and false practices. The government usually awards the whistle blower about 10 to 30 percent of the recovered money, depending on the participation of the person in resolving the case. Many companies also take part in actively campaigning against accounting and insurance fraud and informing their employees to report immediately to any of their whistle-blowing hotlines to uncover hidden fraud.
If you know of some fraudulent activity that is happening at your workplace, remember that it’s your responsibility to stop the employer from continuing to be liable of any theft or fraud to its employees or from the US Government. As a witness and a whistleblower, you are entitled to rights of non-disclosure, until a lawsuit is filed. If your employer retaliates or fights back because of your whistle blowing, you can sue your employer and recover punitive damages.
To effectively report any corporate fraud or crime, contact a third-party whistle-blower hotline to report of such. Under no circumstances should you use your company’s telephone or e-mail system to report of such – it is advised to use a different communication system outside your company’s network. When in doubt, you can also arrange for confidential legal counseling with an attorney who handles whistle blowing cases to discuss your options.
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John Luke Matthews is a regular contributor of relevant articles about the jurisprudence of businesses and employment. He is part of the Mesriani Law Group and is currently taking information technology studies as well.