SEC Whistleblower Program Tops $1 Billion In Total Compensation
According to a report from CNBC, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently announced a $110 million whistleblower award. It is the 207th award in the program’s 11-year history and the second largest ever issued. Altogether, the SEC has now awarded in excess of $1 billion in financial compensation to whistleblowers. Here, our Florida IRS whistleblower lawyers highlight four key things you should know about the SEC whistleblower program.
- Created as Part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act
The SEC whistleblower program took effect in the summer of 2010 when Dodd-Frank was signed into law by President Barack Obama. Part of a more comprehensive Wall Street reform effort, the SEC’s whistleblower program is designed to create an additional incentive for securities industry insiders and professionals to take the risk associated with the disclosure of potential misconduct to regulators. The securities industry whistleblower law offers enhanced employment protections, a path to recover financial compensation, and the ability to report tips anonymously.
- Whistleblower Awards for Tips that Lead to Successful Enforcement Action
In order to qualify for an SEC whistleblower award, an individual must provide the agency with a tip that leads to successful enforcement action in a securities law case. Although many whistleblower tips are provided by inside employees, that is not a legal requirement of this program. Any individual can get an SEC whistleblower award if their tip leads to successful enforcement action.
Financial awards issued through the SEC’s whistleblower program are proportional to the extent of the fraud. A whistleblower can obtain an award worth 10 percent to 30 percent of the total value of the monetary sanctions. Within that range, the agency has discretion. It will consider the importance of the whistleblower’s disclosures.
- Eligibility for an Award: Information Must Be Voluntary, Original, Timely, and Credible
In determining whether or not an individual qualifies for an SEC whistleblower award, the agency will evaluate the totality of the circumstances. SEC regulations indicate that whistleblower compensation will only be approved if the tip given to authorities is:
- Timely; and
If one or more of those criteria are not satisfied in a particular whistleblower case, the SEC can deny a whistleblower award even if successful enforcement action is taken.
- You Can Make Confidential Disclosures to Securities Regulators
One of the key features of the SEC’s whistleblower program is that it allows people to keep their identity private. Through a whistleblower lawyer in Florida, you can make a confidential disclosure to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Only your attorney will know your identity. You do not have to identify yourself to the SEC until a whistleblower award is approved. Further, the SEC will never release your name to the public.
Call Our Florida Whistleblower Protection Lawyers Today
At Guttman, Freidin & Celler, our Florida whistleblower attorneys are skilled, experienced advocates for our clients. If you have any questions or concerns about the SEC whistleblower program, we are here to help. Contact us today to schedule a free, strictly confidential initial consultation. With an office in Miami, we represent whistleblowers in Florida and throughout the United States.