Whistleblower Awards for Reporting Financial Fraud
Yes. Under the SEC Whistleblower Program, eligible whistleblowers may receive monetary awards when they voluntarily provide the SEC with original information about violations of the federal securities laws, including accounting and financial fraud. If the SEC uses a whistleblower’s information to bring a successful enforcement action, the whistleblower is eligible to receive 10% to 30% of the monetary sanctions collected as an award. In certain circumstances, the SEC allows auditors and accountants to report financial fraud and become eligible for awards.
On August 30, 2016, the SEC issued a more than $22 million whistleblower award to a whistleblower who exposed financial violations at Monsanto. The SEC fined the company $80 million for the violations, of which 27.5% was issued to the whistleblower as an award. In the press release announcing the award, former SEC Chair Mary Jo White said, “Financial reporting and disclosure cases continue to be a high priority for the Commission and these charges show that corporations must be truthful in their earnings releases to investors and have sufficient internal accounting controls in place to prevent misleading statements.”
If you have original information about fraud that you would like to report to the SEC Whistleblower Office, 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. Our SEC whistleblower attorneys will work to quickly provide SEC whistleblowers with the highest-quality representation.
Recently the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners published a profile of Matt Stock’s success fighting fraud:
Anonymously Report Financial Fraud to the SEC
The SEC Whistleblower Program protects the confidentiality of whistleblowers and does not disclose information that might directly or indirectly reveal a whistleblower’s identity. Also, the program allows whistleblowers to report financial fraud anonymously if represented by an attorney. In certain circumstances, a whistleblower may remain anonymous, even to the SEC, until an award determination. However, even at the time of an award, a whistleblower’s identity is not made available to the public.
SEC Targets Financial Fraud
According to the SEC Annual Reports on the SEC Whistleblower Program, a majority of whistleblower tips submitted to the SEC relate to misleading corporate disclosures and financials. In 2013, the SEC Division of Enforcement established the Financial Reporting and Audit (FRAud) Task Force to enhance the agency’s ability to root out financial fraud. In 2014, the SEC saw a 40% increase in financial reporting and auditing filed actions and investigations. Financial fraud is one of the SEC’s top enforcement priorities, noting: “Pursuing financial reporting and auditing violations continues to be a focus of the Division.”
Protections Against Retaliation for SEC Whistleblowers
SEC Whistleblower Awards
Since the inception of the whistleblower program, the SEC has paid more than $1 billion to whistleblowers. The largest SEC whistleblower awards to date are $50 million, $50 million and $39 million. Tips from whistleblowers have enabled the SEC to recover more than $2 billion in financial remedies.
To learn more about the SEC Whistleblower Program, download the eBook SEC Whistleblower Program: Tips from SEC Whistleblower Attorneys to Maximize an SEC Whistleblower Award.
SEC Whistleblower Attorneys
Click below to hear SEC whistleblower attorney Matt Stock’s tips for SEC whistleblowers:
SEC Whistleblower Law Firm
If you are seeking representation in an SEC whistleblower bounty case, click here, or call us at 202-262-8959 to schedule a free, confidential consultation. U.S. News and Best Lawyers® have named Zuckerman Law a Tier 1 law firm in the Washington DC metropolitan area.