Should I reveal identifying company information in a tell all book about a multi-million dollar mass marketing fraud company?

UPDATED: Oct 20, 2011

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UPDATED: Oct 20, 2011Fact Checked

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Should I reveal identifying company information in a tell all book about a multi-million dollar mass marketing fraud company?

I worked for what I found out to be a scam multi-million dollar telemarketing company and am writing a book detailing the illegalities and unethical behavior that I saw. I first worked in customer service and got the feeling things weren’t right as all of the calls were either for refunds or cancellations. Customers frequently said they weren’t told the pricing, were charged without permission, or they received nothing. It was my experience in quality control/listening to sales calls, that showed me the illegal and unethical things that were being done and tacitly approved of by management.

Asked on October 20, 2011 under Personal Injury, Virginia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Here are some significant potential risks or threats:

1) Defamation, whether of the company or of individuals. Defamation is the public making of untrue factual statements which damage a person's or entity's reputation. For "untrue" you can substitute "unproven or unprovable," since if you make a factual statement but can't later prove it if challenged or sued, you may have committed defamation. So say you write that the "Senior VP of Finance approved unfounded charges." That is a factual assertion. If it's fairly clear to anyone who that Senior VP of Finance was and he sues you for demation, if you can't prove he approved the charges, you could be liable. Or if you say that "the company was a criminal enterprise," since there is a specific factual meaning to the phrase "criminal enterprise," if that can't be proved, you could find yourself sued.

2) Disclosure of Confidential Information: if  you disclose information that is confidential (e.g. financial results of  privately held company; certain marketing plans or information about their cost structure) and which you only received as part of your employment there (i.e. NOT publically available), that could give rise to a lawsuit.

3) Disclosure in Violation of any Nondefamation or Nondisclosure Clause: if you signed anything limiting your disclosure rights, make sure you comply with it.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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