International SEC Whistleblower Attorneys: Representing Whistleblowers Worldwide
The leading international SEC whistleblower lawyers at Zuckerman Law have extensive experience representing SEC whistleblowers both domestically and internationally. If you have original information about a potential violation of the U.S. federal securities laws, contact an international SEC whistleblower attorney at leading SEC whistleblower law firm Zuckerman Law for a free, confidential case review by calling +1 (202) 930-5901 or +1 (202) 262-8959.
We also help whistleblowers worldwide report money laundering to FinCEN under the recently enacted Anti-Money Laundering Act whistleblower rewards program.
The international SEC whistleblower attorneys at Zuckerman Law counsel whistleblowers worldwide, including in Australia, China, Europe, India, Angola, Central America, the United Kingdom, the Middle East, Afghanistan, Argentina, and Canada, and currently represent whistleblowers worldwide in assisting the SEC in active investigations and litigation. We helped a whistleblower abroad obtain a multi-million dollar SEC whistleblower award.
In FY 2021, the successful whistleblowers recognized by the Commission hailed from six continents. In total, approximately 20% of the meritorious claimants in FY 2021 were based outside of the United States.
The SEC continues to vigorously combat fraud worldwide where the fraud harms US investors or impairs market integrity. In April 2022, the SEC announced charges against 16 defendants, located in the Bahamas, the British Virgin Islands, Bulgaria, Canada, the Cayman Islands, Monaco, Spain, Turkey, and the United Kingdom, for participating in multi-year fraudulent penny stock schemes that generated more than $194 million in illicit proceeds. The SEC investigations leading to these charges involved assistance from securities regulators and other law enforcement authorities in more than 20 countries.
Since the inception of the SEC whistleblower program, the SEC has received whistleblower tips from individuals in approximately 133 countries outside the United States. In FY 2021 alone, the SEC received whistleblower submissions from individuals in 99 foreign countries.
In September 2020, the SEC issued awards to two whistleblowers for reporting violations occurring overseas. The press release announcing the awards notes the important contributions of whistleblowers:
“Misconduct occurring overseas can have a major impact on U.S. markets while at the same time remaining hard to detect. Today’s awards demonstrate the unique ability of whistleblowers to help the SEC uncover and pursue these cases,” said Jane Norberg, Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower.
SEC Whistleblower Program: Process to Qualify for an SEC Whistleblower Award
Under the SEC Whistleblower Program, whistleblowers are eligible for monetary awards when they provide original information to the SEC about violations of federal securities laws. Whistleblowers are eligible to receive between 10% and 30% of the total monetary sanctions collected if their tip leads to a successful enforcement action with monetary sanctions in excess of $1,000,000.
Since 2012, the SEC Whistleblower Office has awarded more than $1.3 billion to whistleblowers. According to the 2019 Corruption Perceptions Index, a majority of countries are making little or no progress in ending corruption. As the SEC Whistleblower Program continues its worldwide outreach, we expect to see an increase in both tips and awards to international whistleblowers.
For more information about the success of the SEC Whistleblower Program, see our column in Forbes: One Billion Reasons Why The SEC Whistleblower-Reward Program Is Effective. Also, click below to hear SEC whistleblower lawyer Matt Stock’s tips for SEC whistleblowers:
Recently the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners published a profile of Matt Stock’s success working with whistleblowers to fight fraud:
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 monetary sanctions of more than $1 million may be eligible for an award of between 10% and 30% of the total sanctions imposed.
Since the beginning of the whistleblower program, submissions to the SEC have come from whistleblowers in 130 countries outside of the United States. In 2020 alone, the SEC received tips from whistleblowers in 78 foreign countries. The SEC Whistleblower Office has received the highest number of tips from whistleblowers in the:
- United Kingdom,
- India, and
One of the largest awards to date – more than $30 million – was issued to a whistleblower living in a foreign country.
How to Qualify for an SEC Whistleblower Award
What violations qualify for an award from the SEC Whistleblower Program?
Any violation of U.S. federal securities laws qualifies for an award under the SEC Whistleblower Program, including:
- Accounting fraud;
- Investment and securities fraud;
- Insider trading;
- Foreign bribery and other FCPA violations;
- EB-5 investment fraud;
- Manipulation of a security’s price or volume;
- Fraudulent securities offerings and Ponzi schemes;
- Hedge fund fraud;
- Unregistered securities offerings;
- Investment adviser fraud;
- Broker-dealer anti-money laundering program violations;
- False or misleading statements about a company or investment;
- Inadequate internal controls;
- Deceptive non-GAAP financial measures;
- Improper revenue recognition;
- Violations of auditor independence rules; and
- Blockchain fraud.
Can I submit an anonymous tip to the SEC Whistleblower Office?
The SEC Whistleblower Program allows whistleblowers 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 a whistleblower’s confidentiality. In certain circumstances, whistleblowers may fear retaliation and an experienced SEC whistleblower attorney can skillfully guide whistleblowers through the process, maximizing the likelihood that their identity is not revealed to unauthorized parties. For more information about the SEC whistleblower process, see the SEC’s investor bulletin on SEC investigations.
For more information about the SEC Whistleblower Program, download the eBook Tips from SEC Whistleblower Attorneys to Maximize an SEC Whistleblower Award and listen to the recent podcast episode of inSecurities Inside the World of Whistleblowers.
Whistleblower Protection for U.S. Employees Working Abroad
In addition to representing whistleblowers before the SEC, CFTC and IRS, we represent corporate whistleblowers in retaliation claims, including claims brought under the following laws:
- Sarbanes-Oxley whistleblower retaliation claims;
- False Claims Act retaliation claims;
- Consumer Financial Protection Act retaliation claims; and
- NDAA retaliation claims.
For more information about the SOX whistleblower protection law, download our free guide Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblower Protection: Robust Protection for Corporate Whistleblowers.
Frequently Asked Questions About the SEC Whistleblower Program
- What is the SEC Whistleblower Program?
- What is the SEC Office of the Whistleblower?
- What are the largest SEC whistleblower awards?
- Can I submit an anonymous tip to the SEC Office of the Whistleblower?
- What exactly does anonymous whistleblowing entail?
- What employment protections are available for SEC whistleblowers?
- What violations qualify for an SEC whistleblower award?
- Can the SEC bring enforcement actions against international schemes?
- Who is an “eligible” SEC whistleblower?
- Can compliance personnel, auditors, officers or directors qualify for SEC whistleblower awards?
- Can I submit a claim if I had some involvement in the fraud or misconduct?
- Can culpable whistleblowers qualify for SEC whistleblower awards?
- Do I have to report a potential violation to my company before reporting it to the SEC?
- What type of evidence should I provide to the SEC?
- Can I use confidential company documents to expose fraud?
- Can I disclose secret recordings to the SEC?
- Can I submit a tip if I agreed to a confidentiality provision in an employment/severance agreement?
- When is the best time to report the fraud or misconduct to the SEC?
- What is “original information”?
- Can I submit an SEC Whistleblower claim if the SEC already has an open investigation into the matter?
- How might my information “lead to” a successful SEC enforcement action?
- What “related actions” qualify for an SEC whistleblower award?
- How do the best SEC whistleblower law firms advocate for whistleblowers?
- How do I choose the best whistleblower attorney?
- Why should I choose the Zuckerman Law to represent me in my SEC whistleblower claim?
- How do I submit a tip to the SEC Office of the Whistleblower?
- What happens after I submit a tip to the SEC?
- What factors does the SEC consider when determining the amount of the award?
- What happens after I apply for an SEC whistleblower award?
- How long does it take to receive an SEC whistleblower award?
SEC 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 positions 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.
To learn more about the SEC Whistleblower Program, see the following resources:
- Tips for SEC Whistleblowers
- See our column in Going Concern: Sarbanes-Oxley 15 Years Later: Accountants Need to Speak Up Now More Than Ever.
- See our post in Accounting Today: Whistleblower Protections and Incentives for Auditors and Accountants.
- See our article providing Tips for SEC Whistleblowers
- See our post in The Compliance and Ethics Blog: Shkreli Trial Reveals the Challenges Faced by Compliance Whistleblowers.