What constitutes fraud (materiality)

There are three types of fraud that whistleblower laws focus on: fraud that harms the government (False Claims Act); fraud that harms investors (Dodd-Frank); and, fraud that harms employees or the public (various federal regulatory laws). All forms of fraud revolve around deception and cause financial injuries to the affected.

Under the False Claims Act, deliberately filing false claims with the federal government in exchange for money or some benefit constitutes fraud. Similarly, selling defective products to the government while representing that they are in satisfactory condition, would also constitute fraud.

Under Dodd-Frank, using false or misleading claims to induce investors to purchase or sell investment products constitute fraud. Manipulating the price of securities, by issuing false or misleading financial information would also constitute a fraud.

Fraudsters would have swindled taxpayers, investors and private citizens out of billions of dollars if not for the actions of whistleblowers.