Can a Whistleblower Case be Filed Anonymously?

It depends on the type of the case. One can file with the SEC Whistleblower Office or The Commodity Futures Trading Commission Whistleblower Office anonymously. The Whistleblowers provisions of the Dodd Frank Act allowed for those Whistleblower Offices to accept Whistleblower complaints anonymously through a whistleblower attorney and those offices may learn the identity of the Whistleblower if they are giving an award but they then have not shared, atleast so far have not shared the identity of the Whistleblower with the public. So they have been very good about protecting the identity of the Whistleblower going forward.

Under the False Claims Act the case is going to be ‘Under Seal’ for quite some time and the Whistleblower in the False Claims Act case enjoys at least some protection from being exposed while the case is ‘Under Seal’.

Once the case is unsealed of course it can become a public matter for the Whistleblower. People may learn who they are.

Can An Individual Talk About His or Her Case?

Not while it is ‘Under Seal’. There is no question of violating the seal in the False Claims Act and it is something that we advise clients not to do. They would be subject to losing any potential awards and worse they could be interfering with the government’s investigation. It is very difficult. It is a very hard thing for Whistleblowers to live with this fact because usually in False Claims Act case is one of the biggest things in that person’s life, probably the biggest thing in their professional life when they are filing a False Claims Act case. It is a big deal to any Whistleblower personally.

Talking about it is problematic especially when the case is ‘Under Seal’. Before the case comes ‘Under Seal’ it is probably still not a good idea to talk about it very much because you don’t want to have to deal with the fact that it could become publicly disclosed and then have to run back and prove it that you were the original source of the allegations. So generally speaking until it is all over with keeping quiet about the False Claims Acts case that you are filing is a better practice than talking about it.

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