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Report Financial Statement Fraud and Earn an SEC Whistleblower Award

Increase in Reports of Financial Statement Fraud

SEC whistleblower bountiesIn July 2010, Congress passed the Dodd-Frank Act, which established the SEC Whistleblower Program. The program offers monetary awards to individuals who expose wrongdoing (details below). A decade later, the program has proven to be a critical tool in the SEC’s enforcement arsenal to identify and halt fraud – especially financial statement fraud. Since 2013, the most common whistleblower tip reported to the SEC relates to violations or fraud in connection with publicly traded companies’ financial statements and other accounting issues. In fact, from 2013 to 2019, the number of tips related to financial statement fraud has nearly doubled – from 557 tips to 1,107 tips.

The SEC does not disclose details about whistleblowers’ tips (only the general category of the tips). However, recent SEC enforcement actions shed some light on the potential accounting violations disclosed in the tips, which include:

For examples of these SEC enforcement actions, click here.

SEC Whistleblower Program

In exchange for disclosing financial fraud to the SEC, whistleblowers are eligible for substantial monetary awards. When a whistleblower’s tip (original information about a violation of the federal securities laws) leads to an enforcement action with total monetary sanctions in excess of $1 million, a whistleblower may receive an award of between 10 to 30 percent of the total monetary sanctions collected. In certain circumstances, even auditors and accountants may be eligible for awards under the program.

The SEC Whistleblower Program also protects the confidentiality of whistleblowers and does not disclose information that might directly or indirectly reveal a whistleblower’s identity. Whistleblowers can even submit a tip anonymously to the SEC if represented by an attorney in connection with their tip.

SEC Whistleblower Awards

Since 2012, the SEC Whistleblower Program has issued more than $1.7 billion in awards to whistleblowers.

For more information about the SEC Whistleblower Program, download the eBook: Tips from SEC Whistleblower Attorneys to Maximize an SEC Whistleblower Award and see these articles:



Experienced and Effective SEC Whistleblower Attorneys

In conjunction with our courageous clients, our SEC whistleblower attorneys have helped the SEC halt multi-million dollar investment schemes, expose violations at large publicly traded companies, and return funds to defrauded investors.

SEC Whistleblower Tips In contrast to many other SEC whistleblower law firms, our multi-disciplinary team of SEC whistleblower lawyers includes a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Fraud Examiner with substantial experience auditing public companies and investigating complex fraud schemes. We understand the many challenges that the SEC faces in investigating our clients’ disclosures and take measures to increase the likelihood that the SEC will be able to effectively pursue the disclosures that our SEC whistleblower lawyers provide on behalf of our clients.

Under the SEC Whistleblower Reward Program, whistleblowers can submit tips anonymously to the SEC through an attorney and be eligible for an award for exposing any material violation of the federal securities laws, including:

The SEC has jurisdiction over a wide range of industries and entities – both public and private.

Recently the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners published a profile of SEC whistleblower attorney Matthew Stock’s success working with whistleblowers to fight fraud:

SEC whistleblower lawyers

Click here to hear SEC whistleblower attorney Matthew Stock’s tips for SEC whistleblowers.

Financial Statement Fraud Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic

As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, many companies have struggled to meet financial projections and forecasts. During these times of economic turmoil, there is often added pressure on companies to make the numbers. When plans fail to materialize, companies may be tempted to make up the numbers.

In an April 3, 2020 speech and March 12, 2020 webinar, the SEC’s Chief Accountant warned of significant accounting challenges as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. In particular, the Chief Accountant highlighted concerns related to the following areas of accounting:

  • Deceptive non-GAAP metrics;
  • Fair value and impairment considerations;
  • Leases;
  • Debt modifications or restructurings;
  • Hedging;
  • Revenue recognition;
  • Income taxes; and
  • Subsequent events.

The Chief Accountant also warned that companies may try to use the pandemic to cover up past errors or fraud. Whistleblowers can assist the SEC root out financial statement fraud by reporting to the SEC Office of the Whistleblower.

How to Report Financial Statement Fraud

sec whistleblower bountiesTo report financial statement fraud or other violations of the federal securities laws and qualify for an award under the SEC Whistleblower Program, the SEC requires that whistleblowers or their attorneys report the tip online through the SEC’s Tip, Complaint or Referral Portal or mail/fax a Form TCR to the SEC Office of the Whistleblower.

Prior to submitting a tip, whistleblowers should consult with an experienced whistleblower attorney and review the SEC whistleblower rules to, among other things, understand eligibility rules. As noted, compliance personnel, gatekeepers, and other corporate insiders may be eligible for awards in certain circumstances. If whistleblowers are uncertain about their eligibility, they should consult with an experienced SEC whistleblower attorney. A skillful analysis may be the difference between a multimillion-dollar whistleblower award and no award at all.

SEC Whistleblower Attorneys

SEC whistleblower attorneyIf you have information that may qualify for an SEC whistleblower award, contact the Director of our SEC whistleblower practice at [email protected] or call our leading SEC whistleblower lawyers at (202) 930-5901 or (202) 262-8959. All inquiries are confidential. In conjunction with our courageous clients, we have helped the SEC halt multi-million dollar investment schemes, expose violations at large publicly traded companies and return funds to defrauded investors.

How to Qualify for an SEC Whistleblower Award

Click below to hear SEC whistleblower lawyer Matt Stock’s tips for SEC whistleblowers:

SEC whistleblower lawyers

SEC Whistleblower Resources

SEC Whistleblower Process

Financial Statement Fraud SEC Whistleblower Awards

Are Whistleblowers Protected from Retaliation?

Click here to learn more about anti-retaliation protections for SEC whistleblowers under the Dodd-Frank Act and Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

SEC whistleblower attorney

Jason Zuckerman, Principal of Zuckerman Law, litigates whistleblower retaliation, qui tam, wrongful discharge, and other employment-related claims. He is rated 10 out of 10 by Avvo, was recognized by Washingtonian magazine as a “Top Whistleblower Lawyer” in 2015 and selected by his peers to be included in The Best Lawyers in America® and in SuperLawyers.

Matthew Stock is the Director of the Whistleblower Rewards Practice at Zuckerman Law. He represents whistleblowers around the world in SEC, CFTC and IRS whistleblower claims. He is also a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Fraud Examiner and former KPMG external auditor.