International Whistleblowers Eligible for SEC Awards
Whistleblowers need not be U.S. citizens to be eligible for SEC whistleblower awards
Regardless of citizenship, whistleblowers who provide original information that leads to enforcement actions with total civil penalties of more than $1 million may be eligible an award of between 10-30 percent of the total sanctions imposed.
Since the beginning of the whistleblower program, submissions have come from whistleblowers in 103 countries outside of the United States. In 2016 alone, the SEC received tips from whistleblowers in 67 foreign countries. The SEC Whistleblower Office received the highest number of tips from whistleblowers in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, China, and India.
The largest award to date – more than $30 million – was issued to a whistleblower living in a foreign country.
What violations qualify for an award from the SEC Whistleblower Program?
Any violation of federal securities laws qualifies for an award under the SEC Whistleblower Program, including:
- Accounting fraud;
- Inadequate internal controls;
- Investment company fraud;
- Insider trading;
- EB-5 investment fraud;
- Foreign bribery payments and other violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act;
- Market manipulation schemes;
- Unregistered broker-dealers;
- Investment adviser fraud;
- Offering fraud and Ponzi schemes;
- Deceptive non-GAAP financial measures; and
- Violations of auditor independence rules.
Can I submit an anonymous tip to the SEC Whistleblower Office?
The SEC Whistleblower Program allows whistleblower to submit anonymous tips if represented by an attorney. In addition, if the SEC opens an investigation based on a whistleblower’s tip, it will go out of its way to protect whistleblower’s confidentiality. In certain circumstances, whistleblower may fear retaliation and an experienced SEC whistleblower attorney can skillfully guide whistleblower through the process, maximizing the likelihood that their identity is not revealed to unauthorized parties.
Washington DC Whistleblower Law Firm Representing Whistleblowers Internationally
The experienced SEC whistleblower lawyers at Washington DC whistleblower law firm Zuckerman Law have successfully represented whistleblowers in whistleblower rewards and whistleblower rewards matters before the SEC and DOL concerning fraud, bribery, and other securities law violations that occurred in the U.S. and abroad.
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 in high-level position at a government agency that protects whistleblowers. Firm Principal Jason Zuckerman has been named by Washingtonian Magazine as a “Top Whistleblower Lawyer” and the firm has been ranked by U.S. News as a Tier 1 Firm in Labor & Employment Litigation.
For more information about the SEC Whistleblower Program, see the following resources:
Zuckerman Law SEC Whistleblower Reward Program FAQwhistleblower_lawyers_012017_infographic