Morgan & Morgan
The Dodd Frank Whistleblower Law defines original information as information that is:
Perhaps one of the most critical parts of the definition of original information contained in the Dodd Frank Whistleblower Law is the concept that information about alleged securities fraud must be original to the SEC – not to the whistleblower. This means for all practical purposes that if you are the hundredth person in your organization to learn of the facts that constitute alleged securities fraud, but you the first to submit this information to the SEC, then your information is deemed “original” to the SEC.
Conversely, if you are the first to learn of the facts that may constitute securities fraud, and you disclose this information to anyone else, if that person files first your information is not considered “original” to the SEC, regardless of the fact that you told the whistleblower who relied on your information to file first! A whistleblower therefore if motivated by a potential cash reward should contact a whistleblower attorney quickly and not disclose the underlying facts to any third party.
The concept of a whistleblower disclosing information to the SEC can be daunting and intimidating.
A whistleblower attorney can certainly help you in determining whether the information in your possession is “original”
The information a whistleblower provides to the SEC can in some situations already be in the public domain, as long as the information provided does not derive “exclusively” from the information in the public domain.