Because the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) whistleblower program focuses on a specific area, the facts about the SEC whistleblower program may not yet be common knowledge. This can be a problem for those people who suddenly find themselves in need of help. For this reason, The Pickholz Law Offices is here to present three important facts about the SEC whistleblower program NYC residents and employees need to know.
1. Under the SEC whistleblower program NYC residents and employees may be eligible to receive monetary awards
First, under the SEC whistleblower program NYC residents and employees who provide information about corporate frauds or securities violations to the SEC may be eligible to receive a monetary award. If the information causes the SEC to open a new investigation, or significantly aids the SEC in an already ongoing investigation, and if the SEC collects more than $1 million from the wrongdoers, the SEC must give the eligible whistleblower(s) an award of 10% – 30% of the amount that it collects.
Some potential SEC whistleblowers are uncomfortable with the thought of receiving an award out of money belonging to the victims of the fraud. Rest assured, SEC whistleblower awards are not paid out of money belonging to investors who were harmed by the fraud. The award is paid out of a special fund set up by the U.S. Congress.
However, there are a lot of rules that have to be followed to be eligible for an SEC whistleblower award. For this reason, a potential SEC whistleblower may want to consult with an experienced SEC whistleblower law firm first.
2. An SEC whistleblower’s information must be “original”
Second, to be eligible for an SEC whistleblower award, a whistleblower’s information must be “original”. If interested in being a part of the SEC whistleblower program NYC residents and employees should be in possession of original and significant information about corporate fraud or securities violations. Generally, “original” means information that the person came across on their own, and that is not already publicly known. SEC whistleblowers can bring forward information that they have already reported internally at their company. But they cannot simply recite facts they read about on-line or in a newspaper article.
3. The information must be “voluntary”
Third, the submission of the information to the SEC must be “voluntary”. In a nutshell, “voluntary” means that someone must provide the information to the SEC before any government or law enforcement agency, or any self-regulatory organization (“SRO”), asks them about the same general subject area. So, if a government agency or SRO sends someone an inquiry letter or a subpoena pertaining to the same subject area before they report to the SEC, or they know that their company has already been subpoenaed for information about the same subject area, they will probably not be eligible for an SEC whistleblower reward.
If you have further questions about what qualifies as “original” or “voluntary” information, or about what other rules may qualify or disqualify you from an award, you may want to discuss them with an experienced SEC whistleblower lawyer rather than risk making a mistake.
An Experienced SEC Whistleblower Law Firm
If you have information about corporate or securities fraud and are interested in becoming an whistleblower with the SEC program, The Pickholz Law Offices can help. Our founder, Jason R. Pickholz, was one of the first attorneys in the nation to win an SEC whistleblower award for a client. (See official SEC Award here.) He is also the first whistleblower attorney ever to convince the SEC to grant someone an SEC whistleblower award over an initial decision by its staff to deny an award. This groundbreaking result was named as one of the “Five milestones in the Dodd-Frank whistleblower reward program“ by Inside Counsel magazine. For related articles click here (Boston Business Journal) and here (NY Times).
For more information about Mr. Pickholz, please click here. For more information about The Pickholz Law Offices, feel free to click any of the links on this page.
If you would like to speak with an SEC whistleblower attorney, please call our offices today at 347.746.1222. Your initial conversation with Mr. Pickholz of up to one hour is free of charge.
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