One Billion Reasons Why The SEC Whistleblower-Reward Program Is Effective
SEC whistleblower attorneys Jason Zuckerman and Matthew Stock of Zuckerman Law, a leading whistleblower law firm that represents U.S. and international whistleblowers before the SEC, published a column in Forbes about the SEC’s Whistleblower-Reward Program. In the column, One Billion Reasons Why The SEC Whistleblower-Reward Program Is Effective, Zuckerman and Stock note the tremendous success of the program to date, which includes the recovery of nearly $1 billion in financial remedies as a result of whistleblower tips, and the issuance of more than $154 million in awards to whistleblowers. In the column, Zuckerman and Stock also highlights several facets of the program that have contributed to its success, including:
- Anonymous Tips: The SEC Whistleblower-Reward Program allows whistleblowers to submit tips anonymously if represented by an attorney.
- Large Whistleblower Awards: The program offers a substantial financial incentive to whistleblowers for exposing violations of the federal securities laws. Under the program, whistleblowers are eligible to receive 10 to 30 percent of the monetary sanctions collected as an award. The largest SEC whistleblower awards to date are $30 million, $22 million and $17 million.
- Removing Obstacles to Reporting: The SEC has eliminated obstacles to reporting violations to the SEC. For example, the SEC has taken administration action against companies for including “gag clauses” in confidentiality, severance, and other employment-related agreements. The SEC concluded that such agreements are unenforceable as they violate Rule 21F-17.
- Protecting Whistleblowers Against Retaliation: The SEC has brought enforcement actions against companies for whistleblower retaliation. In one of those actions, the SEC ordered a company to pay a $500,000 penalty for terminating the employment of a whistleblower who raised concerns about misstatements in the company’s financial statements.
- Internal Reporting: The SEC Whistleblower-Reward Program has not undermined internal compliance programs, which was a major concern prior to its enactment. The SEC reports that approximately 80 percent of whistleblower-award recipients reported internally, or understood that their supervisors were aware of the violations, before reporting to the SEC.
Tips for SEC Whistleblowers
Recently, the SEC whistleblower attorneys at Zuckerman Law issued a free guide to the program titled SEC Whistleblower Program: Tips from SEC Whistleblower Attorneys to Maximize an SEC Whistleblower Award. The guide is available for download here.
Experienced SEC Whistleblower Attorneys
The experienced whistleblower lawyers at Zuckerman Law represent whistleblowers worldwide before the SEC under the Dodd-Frank SEC Whistleblower Program. The firm has a licensed Certified Public Accountant and Certified Fraud Examiner on staff to enhance its ability to investigate and disclose complex financial fraud to the SEC, and two of the firm’s attorneys served on the Department of Labor’s Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee and in senior leadership positions at a government agency that protects whistleblowers.
Zuckerman Law has substantial experience investigating securities fraud schemes and preparing effective submissions to the SEC concerning a wide range of federal securities violations, including:
- Accounting fraud;
- Investment and securities fraud;
- EB-5 investment fraud;
- Manipulation of a security’s price or volume;
- Fraudulent securities offerings and Ponzi schemes;
- Unregistered securities offerings;
- Investment adviser fraud;
- False or misleading statements about a company or investment;
- Inadequate internal controls; and
- Violations of auditor independence rules.
If you have information you would like to report to the SEC, contact an experienced SEC whistleblower attorney at Zuckerman Law for a free, confidential consultation by calling 202-262-8959. Zuckerman Law, one of the nation’s leading law firms representing whistleblowers in whistleblower rewards and whistleblower retaliation claims, will work to quickly provide you with the highest-quality representation to maximize your likelihood of recovering an SEC whistleblower award.