On January 7, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced that it had awarded more than $1.1 million to five whistleblowers for producing information that led to a successful enforcement action.
The SEC Relies on Whistleblowers to Fight Securities Fraud
The SEC’s first order awarded almost $500,000 to three whistleblowers in two related enforcement actions; their information provided grounds to open an investigation.
The second order awarded nearly $600,000 to a whistleblower whose information also led to the opening of an investigation. The whistleblower continuously assisted by meeting with investigators in-person, producing documents and identifying witnesses. They also internally reported concerns in hopes of remedying the observed violations.
The third order awarded over $100,000 to a whistleblower for providing independent analysis which directly led to a successful enforcement action. They conducted analysis using public documents to calculate the estimate of an important company metric, then showing the company’s disclosures regarding the metric were doubtful.
"These awards underscore the breadth of ways that company insiders, as well as whistleblowers not affiliated with a company, can positively impact SEC investigations," said Jane Norberg, Chief of the SEC's Office of the Whistleblower. "Whistleblowers who provide high-quality information or analysis may be eligible for an award where their information causes staff to open an investigation or meaningfully advances an existing investigation."
As protected in the Dodd-Frank Act, the SEC maintains confidentiality for whistleblowers and does not disclose information that could reveal their identity.
How Much Do SEC Whistleblowers Get Paid?
Whistleblowers may be eligible for an award when they voluntarily provide the SEC with original, timely, and credible information that leads to a successful enforcement action. Whistleblower awards can range from 10-30% of the money collected when the monetary sanctions exceed $1 million. Altogether, the SEC has awarded more than $737 million to 133 individuals, an average of $5.54 million per whistleblower, since issuing its first award in 2012.
Get in Touch With a SEC Whistleblower Attorney Today
If you are thinking about whether to blow the whistle, you should contact our experienced SEC whistleblower attorneys today. We can guide you in collecting the documents and evidence you need to convince the SEC to take your case and bring an enforcement action against the company you're blowing the whistle on.
We have the unique skills and knowledge to represent SEC whistleblowers. As employment attorneys, we understand your rights at work, and can navigate how to protect you. As former defense-side securities lawyers who were hired to defend these kinds of enforcement actions, we also know the ins and outs of securities laws and can help you and the SEC prove the fraud.