On December 14, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced that it had awarded more than $300,000 to a whistleblower for sharing information that lead to a successful enforcement action.
Audit Professionals Often Have Information About Illegal Practices
The whistleblower became aware of the potential securities law violations in connection with audit-related responsibilities for the company. People who have audit or compliance responsibilities are generally not eligible for SEC whistleblower bounties, however, there are several exceptions to that rule. One of those exceptions is that a whistleblower can be awarded a bounty if they reasonably believe that an entity is engaging in conduct that would impede an SEC investigation such as destroying documents or falsifying information. This is the fourth time the SEC has paid a whistleblower with internal audit or compliance related responsibilities.
“This award is an example of the important role that audit and compliance professionals can play in assisting the Commission’s enforcement efforts, especially when the entity is attempting to thwart an investigation,” said Jane Norberg, Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower. “The whistleblower attempted to remedy the conduct and provided exceptional assistance to the enforcement staff.”
Financial Fraud Whistleblowers Can Receive Awards From The SEC
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 $731 million to 124 individuals since issuing its first award in 2012.
If You See Corporate Fraud, Talk to An Experienced Employment Attorney
Whistleblowers are critical to our system of law enforcement and to stopping corporate fraud. Our experienced whistleblower attorneys can help you navigate complex whistleblower laws.