Whistleblowers Can Earn Up to Seven Figures

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whistleblowerWhistleblowers are making six and even seven figures. They're earning that from the Internal Revenue Service, hedge funds, private equity firms, arbitration panels, and lawsuits.

Not too long ago whistleblowers, no matter how noble their intentions, usually only suffered for their efforts. The saying was: The snitch winds up in the ditch. Enron's Sherron Watkins kept her concerns about irregularities internal, and afterward she was still unable to get another corporate job.

How things have turned around for whistleblowers, reports The New York Times.

The IRS, for example, has recently expanded its program of protection and reward, which could include 15 to 30 percent of what it recovers.

There's more. The IRS payout can be so enormous that hedge funds, private equity firms, and other kinds of financial institutions are "investing" in the future reward. Here you could be seeing a whistleblower futures industry emerging.

In addition, arbitration panels such as the ones operated by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority [FINRA] are providing whistleblowers like Michelle Ford, a former broker with Affinity Federal Credit Union, compensatory damages of $825,000. FINRA also mandated Affinity eliminate negative information about Ford in its records.

More good news. Ford has another job as a broker with another company. Whistleblowing no longer is necessarily a career killer. Incidentally, there was also the case of gay attorney Aaron Charney, who sued his law firm, Sullivan & Cromwell, for discrimination. The law firm settled. Charney went on to get another good job practicing law.

How do whistleblowers get started in their sleuthing? Key in "whistleblower" on the Web and study case histories. You'll come to understand the fundamentals of identifying where wrongs might be occurring, how to ensure your accusations have merit, and where to report the infractions in a self-protective manner.

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