You may find yourself in a situation where you may have witnessed some behavior in a company that you suspect violates the federal securities laws, or other laws and rules like those regarding proper accounting or financial reporting.  Or you may believe that the company or someone employed by it is doing things that are unethical.  When first uncovering information about an SEC whistleblower case NY employees, customers, or residents may not be sure what to do, or if there is even anything that they can do. In other situations, you may have already reported the conduct to your supervisor, a company lawyer, or through some other system at the company like an anonymous hotline, but have either been told or have come to realize that the company is not going to fix the problem you reported. If the behavior you witnessed violates the federal securities laws, is a fraud on the company or its shareholders, involves the purchase and sale of stocks, or causes the company’s books and records or financial statements to be inaccurate, then it may be appropriate to report it to the Securities and Exchange Commission through the SEC whistleblower reward program.

If the information that you provide helps the SEC to bring a successful case in which it collects more than $1 million in monetary sanctions from the company, you may be eligible to receive all or part of a mandatory reward from the SEC.  By law, this SEC whistleblower award must be between 10% – 30% of the amount that the SEC collects.

No one knows what the right thing to do is all the time, and at times it is hard to decide if the actions or behaviors of others that you have witnessed is something that will be of interest to the SEC.  But stock frauds and other securities law violations are serious, and the SEC requires the help of the public, you, to help stop them and prevent more people from being harmed by them.  That is one of the reasons why Congress created the SEC whistleblower program.

An SEC whistleblower case NY employees, customers, or residents might discover could involve:

  • Insider Trading
  • Pyramid and Ponzi Schemes
  • Fraudulent or unregistered securities offerings
  • Deceptive practices in buying or selling stocks
  • Bribery or improper payments made to foreign officials
  • High-Yield Investment Scams
  • Accounting frauds at public companies
  • Financial statement frauds at public companies
  • or many other kinds of frauds or violations

Once you have decided that what you have witnessed could be an SEC whistleblower case NY SEC officials, or SEC lawyers in other states, might be interested in, your next step is to decide who to report it to.  You do not need to report it to someone at your company in order to be eligible to receive an SEC whistleblower reward.  But if you do tell someone at your company first, and then you tell the SEC, the SEC may consider that as a factor in favor of increasing the amount of any SEC whistleblower award that they may decide to give you.  Whether to report to someone at your company first and then report to the SEC, or whether to report first and only to the SEC, is a decision that only you can make in your particular circumstances.  If you are unsure, you might consider talking to an SEC whistleblower lawyer before making your decision.

Jason R. Pickholz, the founder of The Pickholz Law Offices, is one of the first lawyers ever to win an SEC whistleblower award for a client.  He is also the first lawyer to successfully convince the Securities and Exchange Commission to grant his client an SEC whistleblower award over an initial recommendation by its staff to deny any award. This was the first time in the history of the SEC Whistleblower Award Program that the Commission overruled an adverse Preliminary Determination by its Claims Review Staff.  (See official SEC Award here.)  Inside Counsel Magazine named this as one of the “Five milestones in the Dodd-Frank whistleblower reward program“.  For related articles please click here (Boston Business Journal) and here (NY Times).  In addition, Mr. Pickholz is a Fellow of the New York Bar Foundation, an elected honor that is limited to 1% of the New York State Bar Association membership.

To find out more about the SEC whistleblower award program, please click here.  If you would like to speak with Mr. Pickholz, please call 347-746-1222.

 


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