Image of Can whistleblowers obtain rewards or bounties for reporting fraud to the SEC?

Can whistleblowers obtain rewards or bounties for reporting fraud to the SEC?

Qualifying for an SEC Whistleblower Award

Dodd-Frank SEC Whistleblower Program

Under the Dodd-Frank SEC Whistleblower Reward Program, a whistleblower who provides original information to the SEC that results in monetary sanctions exceeding $1 million shall be paid an award of ten to thirty percent of the amount recouped. See 15 U.S.C. § 78u-6.

Leading whistleblower firm Zuckerman Law has substantial experience representing whistleblowers before the SEC. 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.

best whistleblower lawyers If you have original information that you would like to report to the SEC Whistleblower Office, contact the Director of our SEC whistleblower practice at mstock@zuckermanlaw.com or call our leading SEC whistleblower lawyers at (202) 930-5901 or (202) 262-8959. All inquiries are confidential. Our firm’s SEC whistleblower attorneys will work to quickly provide SEC whistleblowers with the highest-quality representation.

In contrast to many other SEC whistleblower law firms, our team includes a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Fraud Examiner with substantial experience auditing public companies and investigating complex fraud schemes. In addition, two lawyers on our team served in senior positions at the U.S. Office of Special Counsel overseeing government investigations of whistleblower claims. 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 we provide on behalf of our clients. Recently, U.S. News and Best Lawyers® named Zuckerman Law a Tier 1 firm in the Washington DC metropolitan area.

Resources for SEC Whistleblowers: Know Your Rights Under the Dodd-Frank SEC Whistleblower Rules

These frequently asked questions provide an overview of key facets of the SEC Whistleblower Program.  Every case is unique.  To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us at 202-262-8959.

  1. What is the SEC Whistleblower Program?
  2. What violations qualify for an SEC whistleblower award?
  3. How can I submit a tip to the SEC?
  4. Why should I choose the Zuckerman Law to represent me in my SEC whistleblower claim?
  5. Can I submit an anonymous tip to the SEC Whistleblower Office?
  6. When is the best time to report the fraud or misconduct to the SEC?
  7. Can I submit an SEC Whistleblower claim if the SEC already has an open investigation into the matter?
  8. Who is an “eligible” SEC whistleblower?
  9. Can compliance personnel, auditors, officers or directors qualify for an SEC whistleblower award?
  10. What is “original information”?
  11. How might my information “lead to” a successful SEC enforcement action?
  12. Can I submit a claim if I had involvement in the fraud or misconduct?
  13. Do I have to report a securities law violations to my company before reporting the violation to the SEC?
  14. Can I submit a tip if I agreed to a confidentiality provision in an employment/severance agreement?
  15. What factors does the SEC consider when determining the amount of the award?
  16. What employment protections are available for SEC whistleblowers?
  17. What type of evidence should I provide to the SEC?
  18. What happens after I submit a tip to the SEC?
  19. How long does it take to receive an SEC whistleblower award?
  20. What are the largest SEC whistleblower awards?

SEC Whistleblower Rewards

Initially, there was a great deal of skepticism about the SEC whistleblower program, including concerns that it would not yield useful tips and that it would undermine corporate compliance programs by incentivizing whistleblowers to bypass them and go directly to the SEC. Five years later, however, these fears have proved to be unfounded. The program has generated tips that enabled the SEC to stymie ongoing fraud and has actually forced companies to strengthen their internal compliance programs. In a recent speech entitled “The SEC as the Whistleblower’s Advocate,” SEC Chair Mary Jo White characterized the program as a “game changer.”

White reported that the quality of tips has been very high and that the tips have spanned the full spectrum of securities law violations, including market manipulation, offering fraud, and shareholder fraud. As the SEC confronts significant resource challenges in policing the financial markets, high-quality tips that enable the SEC to build a case quickly are invaluable in helping the SEC protect investors.

The SEC Whistleblower Office has received more than 40,200 tips that have enabled the SEC to recover more than $2.7 billion in monetary sanctions from wrongdoers. Since 2012, the SEC has issued more than $700 million in awards to whistleblowers, which includes a multi-million dollar award to one of our clients

Contrary to initial concerns, more than 80% of whistleblowers disclosed wrongdoing internally prior to blowing the whistle to the SEC, thereby incentivizing companies to bolster their internal compliance programs. A company that fails to properly investigate and correct disclosures of fraud or other securities violations runs the risk that the whistleblower will disclose the wrongdoing to the SEC, requiring the company to explain why it failed to take corrective action.

As discussed in our articles, the SEC whistleblower program has become a very effective enforcement tool for the SEC.  But very few whistleblowers have received awards, which underscores the importance of having experienced counsel represent a whistleblower effectively at the SEC.

In addition to providing strong financial incentives to whistleblowers, the SEC is enforcing Dodd-Frank’s prohibition against whistleblower retaliation and is barring companies from using confidentiality agreements and policies to silence whistleblowers. Although the whistleblower reward provisions are a small part of Dodd-Frank, they might be the most effective new tool to protect investors and promote market integrity.

Protections for SEC Whistleblowers

SEC Whistleblower Bounties

Experienced SEC Whistleblower Attorneys: Tier 1 Whistleblower Firm

The experienced SEC 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.

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.

Leading SEC whistleblower law firm 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:

For more information about the SEC Whistleblower Program, download our free ebook SEC Whistleblower Program: Tips from SEC Whistleblower Attorneys to Maximize an SEC Whistleblower Award and see the following resources:

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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.