The SEC whistleblower program exists to award eligible whistleblowers who avail original information that facilitates successful enforcement of SEC actions where total civil penalties surpass $1 million. As far as the eligibility for the program is concerned, any individual or group, irrespective of their citizenship, may participate in the SEC Whistleblower program – with a few qualifications and exclusions attached.
Usually, a whistleblower receives an award worth 10-30% of the monetary sanctions gathered in both the actions brought by the SEC and the related actions emanating from other regulatory and law enforcement bodies. The Congress approved the provisions of the whistleblower reward in the ‘Dodd-Frank Act’ to encourage individuals with useful insider knowledge to voluntarily come out and help the government to hand-pick and prosecute people who have breached securities laws, besides recovering money for persons who have suffered financial fraud.
Thanks to provisions such as employment protections, anonymous reporting and the monetary awards associated with the program, a lot of employees get the motivation to come out and report any misconduct. A survey conducted by Labaton Sucharow and the University of Notre Dame in May 2015 revealed impressive statistics. The researchers concluded that protections and incentives like the ones provided by the SEC Whistleblower Program allow approximately 89% of industry professionals to report misconduct. Unfortunately, a lot of professionals are still unaware of the existence of the program, while some who know about it do not know if they qualify for participation.
For the short period the SEC Whistleblower office has been in existence, it has made it possible for the SEC to expose huge investment fraud schemes, and consequently, stop the fraud from going on. In only seven years, the office has received more than 22,000 tips. Monetary sanctions worth over $1.5 billion has been collected following the relevant enforcement actions. The SEC Whistleblower award was more than $322 million.
Individuals or groups who have useful information capable of getting the attention of the office, may contact a SEC Whistleblower law firm of their choice to help them determine if they qualify for an award. The law firm will guide you through the entire process and respond to all the questions that you might have about the SEC Whistleblower program including issues to do with eligibility. The right law firm will also let you know the kind of protection you can get, and most importantly, what to expect if you have been involved (directly or indirectly) in the misconduct.