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What is the SEC Whistleblower Program?

SEC Whistleblower Program

The SEC Whistleblower Program offers awards to eligible whistleblowers who provide original information that leads to successful SEC enforcement actions with total monetary sanctions exceeding $1 million. A whistleblower may receive an award of between 10% and 30% of the total monetary sanctions collected in actions brought by the SEC and in related actions brought by other regulatory or law enforcement authorities. The SEC Whistleblower Program allows whistleblowers to submit tips anonymously if represented by an attorney in connection with their tip.

Since the inception of the SEC Whistleblower Program, the SEC has paid more than $1 billion in awards to whistleblowers, including to whistleblowers that we have represented. The largest SEC whistleblower awards to date are $114 million, $110 million, and $50 million. See a summary of the SEC whistleblower cases that have resulted in large awards.

Experienced whistleblower attorneys can provide critical guidance and effective advocacy to whistleblowers to increase the likelihood that they get the maximum award. Contact the SEC whistleblower attorneys at Zuckerman Law to learn how we have achieved successful outcomes for whistleblowers at the SEC.

SEC Whistleblower Program’s Success

In 2010, Congress enacted the whistleblower-reward provisions in the Dodd-Frank Act to “motivate those with inside knowledge to come forward and assist the Government to identify and prosecute persons who have violated securities laws and recover money for victims of financial fraud,” S. Rep. No. 111-176, at 110 (2010). In its short history, the SEC Whistleblower Program has enabled the SEC to uncover significant investment fraud schemes and halt ongoing fraud. Since 2011, the SEC Whistleblower Office has received over 40,200 tips, some of which led to enforcement actions resulting in more than $4.8 billion in monetary sanctions from wrongdoers.

See our article in Forbes, One Billion Reasons Why the SEC Whistleblower-Reward Program is Effective, which former SEC Commissioner Kara M. Stein cited in her Statement on Proposed Amendments to the Commission’s Whistleblower Program Rules.

Anonymous Reporting to SEC Office of the Whistleblower

Under the rules of the SEC Whistleblower Program, whistleblowers have the ability to report anonymously if represented by an attorney. A skilled whistleblower attorney will be able to skillfully guide a whistleblower through the process, maximizing the likelihood that their identity is not revealed to unauthorized parties. The program also offers substantial protection against retaliation.

For more information about the SEC Whistleblower Program, download the eBook Tips from SEC Whistleblower Attorneys to Maximize an SEC Whistleblower Award. Also, click below to hear an SEC whistleblower lawyer’s tips for SEC whistleblowers:

SEC whistleblower lawyers

Tier 1 Law Firm Representing SEC Whistleblowers

SEC Whistleblower Program Lawyers If you have information about securities fraud or other violations, contact an experienced SEC whistleblower attorney at Zuckerman Law for a free, confidential consultation by calling us at 202-930-5901 or 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 and maximizing an SEC whistleblower award. We represent whistleblowers worldwide.

 

Click here to learn more about anti-retaliation protections for SEC whistleblowers under the Dodd-Frank Act and Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

SEC Whistleblower Program’s Annual Reports to Congress

To learn more about the SEC Whistleblower Program’s results, see the SEC Office of the Whistleblower’s Annual Reports to Congress:

How to Report Information to the SEC and Qualify for an SEC Whistleblower Award

The SEC whistleblower process is lengthy and complex. See below for articles responding to frequently asked questions by SEC whistleblowers.

  1. What is the SEC Office of the Whistleblower?
  2. What are the largest SEC whistleblower awards?
  3. Can I submit a tip anonymously to the SEC Office of the Whistleblower?
  4. What exactly does anonymous whistleblowing entail?
  5. What employment protections are available for SEC whistleblowers?
  6. What violations qualify for an SEC whistleblower award?
  7. Can the SEC bring enforcement actions against international schemes?
  8. Who is an “eligible” SEC whistleblower?
  9. Can compliance personnel, auditors, officers or directors qualify for SEC whistleblower awards?
  10. Can I submit a claim if I had some involvement in the fraud or misconduct?
  11. Can culpable whistleblowers qualify for SEC whistleblower awards?
  12. Do I have to report a potential violation to my company before reporting it to the SEC?
  13. What type of evidence should I provide to the SEC?
  14. Can I use confidential company documents to expose fraud?
  15. Can I disclose secret recordings to the SEC?
  16. Can I submit a tip if I agreed to a confidentiality provision in an employment/severance agreement?
  17. When is the best time to report the fraud or misconduct to the SEC?
  18. What is “original information”?
  19. Can I submit an SEC Whistleblower claim if the SEC already has an open investigation into the matter?
  20. How might my information “lead to” a successful SEC enforcement action?
  21. What “related actions” qualify for an SEC whistleblower award?
  22. How do the best SEC whistleblower law firms advocate for whistleblowers?
  23. How do I choose the best whistleblower attorney?
  24. Why should I choose the Zuckerman Law to represent me in my SEC whistleblower claim?
  25. How do I submit a tip to the SEC Office of the Whistleblower?
  26. What happens after I submit a tip to the SEC Office of the Whistleblower?
  27. What is the full process for a whistleblower to receive an award?  
  28. What factors does the SEC consider when determining the amount of the award?
  29. What happens after I apply for an SEC whistleblower award?
  30. What is the process to appeal the SEC’s award determination?
  31. How long does it take to receive an SEC whistleblower award?

SEC Whistleblower Attorneys

We have substantial experience investigating securities fraud schemes and preparing effective submissions to the SEC concerning a wide range of federal securities violations, including:

Top-Rated SEC Whistleblower Lawyers

We have assembled a team of leading whistleblower lawyers to provide top-notch representation to SEC whistleblowers.  Recently Washingtonian magazine named two of our attorneys top whistleblower lawyers.  U.S. News and Best Lawyers® have named Zuckerman Law a Tier 1 firm in Litigation – Labor and Employment in the Washington DC metropolitan area.

Best SEC Whistleblower Lawyers & Attorneys     best maryland employment lawyers       
  • Matthew Stock is a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Fraud Examiner and former KPMG external auditor.  As an auditor, Mr. Stock developed an expertise in financial statement analysis, internal controls testing and fraud recognition, and he uses his auditing experience to help whistleblowers investigate and disclose complex financial frauds to the government and obtain damages for retaliation.  He is the lead author of SEC Whistleblower Program: Tips from SEC Whistleblower Attorneys to Maximize an SEC Whistleblower Award.
  • Both Bachman and Zuckerman served in senior positions at the Office of Special Counsel, where they oversaw investigations of whistleblower retaliation claims and whistleblower disclosures, and enforced the Whistleblower Protection Act.
  • Jason Zuckerman was recognized by Washingtonian magazine as a “Top Whistleblower Lawyer” in 2017, 2015, 2009, and 2007 selected by his peers to be included in The Best Lawyers in America® in the category of employment law (2011-2020), and selected by his peers to be listed in SuperLawyers(2012 and 2015-2020) in the category of labor and employment law.  is rated 10 out of 10 by Avvo, based largely on client reviews, and rated AV Preeminent® by Martindale-Hubbell based on peer reviews.
  • Bachman and Zuckerman served on the Department of Labor’s Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee, which makes recommendations to the Secretary of Labor to improve OSHA’s administration of federal whistleblower protections.
  • The firm has published extensively on whistleblower rights and protections, and regularly speaks nationwide at seminars and continuing legal education conferences.  We blog about new developments in whistleblower law at the Whistleblower Protection Blog.

Protection Against Retaliation for SEC Whistleblowers

Several federal and state laws protect corporate whistleblowers.  We routinely represent whistleblowers in Sarbanes-Oxley whistleblower retaliation cases.  For an overview of SOX whistleblower protection, download our titled Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblower Protection: Robust Protection for Corporate Whistleblowers:

SEC Whistleblower Process

Resources for SEC Whistleblowers

To find out more about the SEC Whistleblower Program from a leading SEC whistleblower law firm, 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.

Matthew Stock is the Director of the Whistleblower Rewards Practice at Zuckerman Law. He represents whistleblowers around the world in SEC, CFTC and IRS whistleblower claims. He is also a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Fraud Examiner and former KPMG external auditor.