What You Need to Know about Getting an SEC Whistleblower Attorney
How an SEC Law Firm Can Improve Your Whistleblower Claim
Those who commit securities crimes may attempt to justify them as “victimless” crimes, but they have devastating impacts on their victims. Unlike some other types of crimes, securities fraud can ruin innocent victims’ financial wellbeing, sometimes wiping out their life savings. Because fraud primarily involves misrepresenting information to investors or regulators, it can be difficult to detect by traditional means.
That's why information provided by whistleblowers can be so helpful in assisting the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) when prosecuting these crimes. An SEC whistleblower attorney guides whistleblowers through the complex process of reporting their case to the SEC and helping the SEC in bringing that case.
What You Need to Know About the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
The SEC was originally created in 1934, following the stock market crash, to restore public faith in the integrity of the securities markets. The task of the SEC is to oversee organizations and individuals in the securities markets, including:
- Securities exchanges
- Brokerage firms
- Securities dealers
- Investment advisors
- Investment funds
- Publicly-traded companies
- and more.
Through its rules and regulations, the SEC promotes transparency and disclosure around market-related information. It ensures that companies make truthful statements about their business so that investors, dealers, and brokers are treated in a fair manner. Companies are required to provide accurate, publicly-available information about their business dealings through registration statements and financial reports.
Just a few examples of offenses typically prosecuted by the SEC include insider trading, front running, the dissemination of misleading or false information, securities fraud, accounting fraud at public companies, stock market manipulation, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) violations, and much more.
What Do SEC Whistleblower Awards Have In Common?
If you’re thinking about pursuing an SEC whistleblower claim, there are certain components that may increase your likelihood of winning an award from the SEC.
Filing an SEC report does not guarantee that you will receive a reward since many conditions must apply. To date, the SEC has granted approximately $387 million in whistleblower awards to 67 people.
To understand the common characteristics of award winners, it’s helpful to reference the SEC’s Annual Report to Congress on the whistleblower program. The report usually includes facts and statistics about the whistleblower awards given that year. According to the 2019 Annual Report, the key ways that award winners differentiated themselves include:
The more specific the information provided, the more likely the whistleblower was to receive an award from the SEC. Identifying the individuals involved in fraud and providing specific documents (or sharing where they could be located) are examples.
Many of the award winners described crimes that were relatively recent or ongoing, making it easier for the SEC to follow up on the allegations.
Some award winners provided evidence of fraud for specific financial transactions and/or wrote up detailed descriptions of the misconduct.
- Additional assistance
Nearly all award winners gave additional information and assistance after submitting their initial tip. This may have involved answering follow-up questions from staff or providing other types of assistance.
Why Get an SEC Attorney Instead of Filing On Your Own?
An SEC whistleblower attorney can guide you through the complex process of filing an SEC tip. If you are successful, filing a report means you will be helping the SEC to start an investigation. But just because you know your industry or profession well does not mean that you know how a lawyer sitting in an office thinks, what facts the SEC lawyers will consider to be the most important for their legal work, or how to say it in a way that the SEC lawyers will understand what you are trying to tell them.
This is true even for securities industry professionals who have a strong knowledge of securities law. Mr. Jason Pickholz has been working with SEC enforcement attorneys since 1995. He understands how they think, what they consider important to their investigations, and how to communicate with them in ways that they understand. He works hard to ensure that SEC rules are met and to hopefully increase your chances of getting an award.
Mr. Pickholz will represent you through all communications and at meetings with the SEC, giving you an extra layer of protection and comfort. Many people choose to hire an SEC whistleblower attorney because of the peace of mind that comes from knowing that they have someone experienced and knowledgeable in their corner who is watching out for them so that they don’t have to navigate this unfamiliar territory alone.
Why Consider Consulting with The Pickholz Law Offices?
Mr. Pickholz has an impressive record of success for clients working with the SEC. He was one of the first attorneys to win an SEC whistleblower award for a client. He was also the first to successfully appeal to the Commission to earn an award for a client after an initial recommendation to deny the award. Since 1995, Mr. Pickholz has been handling all aspects of SEC investigations for clients from start to finish. He treats each whistleblower claim as if it were his own, taking a personal interest in the wellbeing of his clients. You can put that experience and empathy to work for you.
If you are an SEC whistleblower, or are involved in a white-collar or securities investigation being conducted by the SEC, FINRA, or another agency, you can contact Mr. Pickholz by calling 347-746-1222. You are under no obligation to commit when you call, and your initial hour of consultation with Mr. Pickholz is free.