"There is a reward for coming forward and just telling the truth," says Thomas Martin from Americas Watchdog Corporate Whistle Blower Center in Washington. "The reward is up to 15 percent of the estimated value of a fraud; it's like hitting the lotto for being honest."
The new reward system is the result of the expanded protections and incentives for whistle blowers in the new Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act which resulted from the recent financial crisis and was signed into law in July 2010. "This is the can opener that opens up Fortune 500 companies and corporate America to whistle blowers," says Martin. "Until now there was no incentive for an employee or an executive of a company to step forward and say, 'oh my God—we're doing this stuff, we're lying to shareholders or overstating our profits.'"
Martin is on a campaign to draw out as many whistle blowers as possible and he believes that women executives may have plenty of secrets to tell. "Guess what—the good old boy system is still alive and well in corporate America and women executives are often given the dirty jobs. They're the ones that are asked to 'clean up this or make this go away,'" he says.
"We've talked to so many female executives over the last few weeks, and what they are telling us is making our eyes pop out," says Martin.
Often vulnerable in tough economic times, women are often the first to get fired or laid off. "Or sometimes they are still there and think I can't stand living this lie every day," says Martin.
Women are also more likely to keep copious notes and file all those dangerous e-mails. "Because they are vulnerable in big corporations—they are always keeping those 'cover your ass' e-mails," says Martin.
Americas Watchdog wants to hear from any woman with whistleblower info who has "just had it," or indeed "from ethical men" who aren't afraid to step forward.
Martin is particularly interested in hearing from women (or men) who may have knowledge of cases where homes with Chinese Drywall may have been securitized by financial institutions with full knowledge of the problem.
READ MORE QUI TAM WHISTLEBLOWER LEGAL NEWS
In the past, speaking up would cost you your job, your career and make you virtually an outcast who would never work again.
"Now we have a way for people to come forward—and get millions," says Martin.
Americas Watchdog is the parent of the Corporate Whistle Blower Center—one of the best-known consumer advocacy groups in the US. Its mission is to embrace and assist whistle blowers who expose corporate or taxpayer fraud. The Center works frequently with law firms that represent whistle blowers in Qui Tam or Dodd-Frank cases.