The Securities and Exchange Commission is authorized by Congress to award monies to those individuals who come forward to it with high-quality, original information that leads to a SEC enforcement action in which over $1 million in sanctions is ordered. The SEC has publicly acknowledged that: “Assistance and information from a whistleblower who knows of possible securities law violations can be among the most powerful weapons in the law enforcement arsenal of the Securities and Exchange Commission.”
An “eligible whistleblower” is an individual (not a corporation or organization) who provides original information about a possible violation of the federal securities laws that either has occurred, is ongoing or is planned for the future. It is required that the information provided to the SEC lead to a successful SEC enforcement action resulting in an order of monetary sanctions greater than $1 million. Importantly, the SEC does not require that the whistleblower be an employee of the target company.
The SEC will consider several factors in determining the amount of your award, as follows:
The SEC may increase the award percentage based upon:
The SEC may decrease the award percentage based upon:
Whistleblowers may submit information to the SEC anonymously through legal counsel. The SEC will, to the fullest extent possible under the law, attempt to protect your identity. Further, employers many not discharge, demote, suspend, harass or in any way discriminate against you because of any legal act done by providing information to the SEC under its whistleblower program.
My experience as an attorney in the Enforcement Division of the SEC is critical in effectively assisting whistleblowers in SEC cases. My years of prosecutorial work at the SEC, including over a decade of defending SEC investigations and SEC enforcement actions, has provided me a unique insight into how the SEC thinks, conducts its investigations and what it believes are important cases to prosecute.
If you have information of violations of the federal securities laws and wish to explore your options, and potential monetary rewards, under the SEC’s Whistleblower Program, please call me for a confidential consultation at no charge.