Big HP reward for mystery whistleblower
HP said on Tuesday that a whistleblower had alleged improper accounting at Autonomy, the British software company it bought last year, and said it is taking an $8.8 billion charge.
If true, the revelations could lead to a huge financial award for the whistleblower, who the company has not identified, courtesy of a new program run by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. But before anyone gets rich, several conditions have to be met.
First, the U.S. government has to collect its money. To be eligible for an award, a whistleblower must have provided information to regulators that led to court-ordered monetary sanctions exceeding $1 million.
In addition, the information has to be original and be given voluntarily, conditions which the HP whistleblower seems to have met.The SEC does not require that tipsters come from the United States. In the HP case, the whistleblower is a senior executive at Autonomy who remained at the company after it was acquired, a source familiar with the situation has said.
The source did not want to be named due to lack of authority to speak about the matter.The program allows for awards to whistleblowers who first report their allegations to internal compliance officers, so long as the same information is passed on to the government soon afterward.If all the conditions are satisfied, the whistleblower could receive an award of between 10 and 30
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