SEC Whistleblower Award
Find Out If You Are Eligible For An SEC Whistleblower Award
The SEC whistleblower program was created in 2010. Under the terms of the program, if you voluntarily provide original information to the Securities and Exchange Commission that causes it to open a new investigation, or substantially contributes to an ongoing investigation, and the SEC collects over $1 million from the wrongdoer(s), you may be eligible to receive an SEC whistleblower award. If all other requirements are met, that award must be between 10% - 30% of the amount that the SEC collects from the wrongdoer(s).
With the proper legal guidance, the information that you provide can not only help to right the wrong of a corporate fraud, but it can also result in a significant award for you.
History of the SEC Whistleblower Award Program
In response to the Great Depression, in 1934 the U.S. Congress created the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”). The SEC was given responsibility for overseeing the nation’s public securities markets, protecting public investors, and regulating companies that seek to raise money by selling stock on the national securities markets. For over 70 years, the SEC fulfilled its mission and became one of the country’s premier regulatory agencies. But when the “Great Recession” struck in 2007-2008 and the Bernard Madoff scandal was revealed, it became apparent that the SEC needed help to keep up with the explosive growth that had occurred in the securities markets since the 1930s.
In 2010 Congress passed new a new law called the Dodd-Frank Act. As part of the Dodd-Frank Act, Congress gave the SEC the power to give monetary awards to individuals who provide the SEC with information about securities frauds or other frauds that lead to a successful SEC action. In creating the SEC whistleblower award program, Congress did more than give the SEC the help that it needed. Congress also acknowledged that people who have the courage to stand up and do what is right by reporting to the SEC deserve to be awarded for their efforts.
Many Types of Cases are Eligible For SEC Whistleblower Awards
Some people may be aware that the SEC investigates things like insider trading and ponzi schemes. What they may not realize is that the SEC also investigates many other types of things involving public companies and financial institutions, like accounting frauds, or books and records frauds. The SEC also investigates public U.S. companies that bribe officials of other countries to gain business advantages in those other countries (Foreign Corrupt Practices Act or "FCPA" violations). These are just a few examples.
If you are uncertain about whether the SEC would be interested in the information that you have uncovered, you should consider consulting with an SEC whistleblower lawyer. For real life stories of the dangers of going it alone, click here and here.