A Rundown of the SEC Whistleblower Program and What To Expect

Deciding to blow the whistle on fraudulent wrong doing can be scary. There are many things to consider, not least of all is where you will stand once the debris settles. The SEC Whistleblower Advocate Program is there to direct you through it all. The program is made up of financial securities attorneys with more than a century of experience behind them. They conceive how much courage and gall it takes to make a securities claim, and have safeguards in place to ensure your private and public future.

The Sec Whistleblower Program was enacted in 2010 by congress after it had become clear that law enforcement could not stand alone in regulating and policing corporations. The Whistleblower Program receives in excess of 20,000 tips each year, but extensively investigates a fraction of these. Of the 20,000 tips that are received annually, only a small percentage will result in prosperous enforcement action.

A survey was conducted by the University of Notre Dame and Labaton Sucharow in May of 2015. The poll revealed that only about 89% of individuals across the United Kingdom and United States report wrongdoing. Individuals that are aware of securities fraud either are unaware of the SEC Program or are unsure of their claim’s eligibility.

It is not uncommon for whistleblowers to fear retaliation. Corporations will sometimes require employees to sign documentation that discourages whistleblowing. Often times these documents are illegal, and the SEC actively goes after companies that initiate these documents. Whistleblowers are able to report wrongdoings anonymously. The acquisition of an attorney to advocate on behalf of the accuser is required in these cases. However, prior to receiving any potential monetary award for their anonymous reporting, the accuser must identify themselves to the SEC. In the interim, the whistleblower’s attorney will act on their behalf.

As hinted at earlier, an employee with good morals might be pressured into not coming forward with viable information involving securities fraud. The SEC has implemented protections against this, advocating on behalf of the employee and allowing said employee to fearlessly blow the whistle on their employers wrongdoings. This is true even if an accusation does not result in the employer’s persecution.

If the employee is subjected to retaliation from their employer, they have the right to immediately sue the employer. This is without the exhaustive process of administrative filing. Whistleblowers whose cases were successfully policed can expect an award of 10 to 30% of monetary sanctions collected. If the sanctions exceed $1 million, whistleblowers might also be rewarded for sanctions brought about by other law enforcement or regulatory organizations.

Some factors might decrease the amount of an award including the culpability of the accuser. An accuser who was unaware of their own culpability might receive more than an individual who blew the whistle on their co-conspirators.