This is an in-depth look at the secret lives of whistleblowers, a world where company employees risk their careers and their reputations to tell the truth about corporate fraud—and sometimes make tens of millions of dollars.
Wall Street is suddenly paying attention to the culture of whistleblowing, because the new Dodd-Frank financial reform law, for the first time, extends whistleblower provisions to Wall Street, meaning employees who expose fraud and wrongdoing stand to collect between 10 and 30 percent of the amount recovered by the government.
In an industry in which experts expect to find billion-dollar frauds, that means some well-positioned insiders on Wall Street could be heading for payouts in the hundreds of millions.
Call them the new bounty hunters.
Like the bounty hunters of old, the corporate types are freelancers working on behalf of the government to bring down wrongdoers—and make some money for themselves along the way.