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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 civil penalties exceeding $1 million. A whistleblower may receive an award of between 10% and 30% of the monetary sanctions collected in actions brought by the SEC and in related actions brought by other regulatory or law-enforcement authorities.The largest SEC whistleblower awards to date are $50 million, $39 million and $33 million.

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). Notably, any violation of the federal securities laws qualifies for an SEC whistleblower award.

 

 

SEC Whistleblower Program’s Success

The SEC Whistleblower Program, in its short history, has enabled the SEC to uncover significant investment fraud schemes and halt ongoing fraud.  Since 2011, the SEC Whistleblower Office has received over 28,000 tips, some of which led to enforcement actions resulting more than $1.7 billion in monetary sanctions from wrongdoers. The SEC Office of the Whistleblower has paid more than $326 million in awards to whistleblowers. In fiscal year 2018 alone, the SEC paid more than $168 million in awards to whistleblowers.

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 on the SEC Whistleblower Program:

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

Contact Leading SEC Whistleblower Law Firm to Find out if You May Qualify for a SEC Whistleblower Award

For more information about whistleblower rewards and bounties, contact the SEC whistleblower lawyers at Zuckerman Law at 202-262-8959.

To learn more about the SEC Whistleblower Program, download Zuckerman Law’s eBook: SEC Whistleblower Program: Tips from SEC Whistleblower Attorneys to Maximize an SEC Whistleblower Award:

SEC Whistleblower Program Tips from SEC Whistleblower Attorneys to Maximize an SEC Whistleblower Award

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

  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 violation 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. Can I disclose secret recordings to the SEC?
  19. What happens after I submit a tip to the SEC?
  20. How long does it take to receive an SEC whistleblower award?
  21. What happens after I apply for an SEC whistleblower award?
  22. What are the largest SEC whistleblower awards?

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

  • Matt 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 whistleblowersinvestigate and disclose complex financial frauds to the government and obtain damages for retaliation.  He is 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 (2011-2017), and selected by his peers to be listed in SuperLawyers(2012 and 2015-2017) 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:

Resources for SEC Whistleblowers

To find out more about the SEC Whistleblower Program from a leading SEC whistleblower law firm, see the following ollowing resources:

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Avatar of Jason Zuckerman

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.

Avatar of Matthew Stock

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.