The US Securities and Exchange Commission and the Whistleblower Program

United States Whistleblower Program Framework

The assistance and information of a whistleblower with knowledge of possible securities law violations can be among the most powerful weapons in the Securities and Exchange Commission's law enforcement arsenal. With their knowledge of the circumstances and the people involved, whistleblowers can help the Commission identify fraud and other possible violations much sooner than would otherwise have been possible. This enables the Commission to minimize the harm caused to investors, to better preserve the integrity of the US capital markets and to hold those responsible for illegal behavior accountable more quickly.

The Commission is authorized by Congress to grant monetary rewards to eligible individuals who submit high quality original information that leads to Commission enforcement action in which more than 1,000,000 $ of penalties are ordered. The range of rewards is between 10% and 30% of the money collected.

The Office of the Whistleblower was created to administer the SEC's whistleblower program. We understand that the decision to provide information about securities fraud or other wrongdoing is not taken lightly, and we are here to answer all of your questions. You can reach the Whistleblower's Office at (202) 551-4790.


SEC press release - 09/30/20

The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced awards to four people for total payouts of nearly $ 5 million. Each of these whistleblowers provided essential information which alerted the Commission to the alleged wrongdoing and resulted in successful enforcement actions. This year, the SEC awarded a record 39 individual awards of approximately $ 175 million, more than in any previous fiscal year.

In the first order, a whistleblower was awarded nearly $ 2.9 million for alerting the Commission to violations that were difficult to detect. The whistleblower provided critical information and supporting evidence that saved the SEC time and resources.

In the second order, a whistleblower, a former company insider, received more than $ 1.7 million. This whistleblower provided extensive and ongoing assistance to the investigation team during the investigation.

In the third order, two whistleblowers were awarded nearly $ 400,000 for jointly providing a tip and providing ongoing assistance during the investigation, including meeting with staff and providing detailed information that helped them understand the issues. key documents and identify witnesses. Whistleblowers also raised their concerns internally and suffered personal hardships as a result of these denunciations.

“Today marks the end of a record year for the whistleblower program. We have made significant progress in streamlining and further accelerating the assessment of claims under the rules, significantly increasing the rate at which whistleblower claims are assessed and awards awarded, ”said Stephanie Avakian, Director of the Corporate Affairs Division. execution. “We remain committed to rewarding the valuable contributions of whistleblowers in a timely and effective manner. "

"The awards presented last month demonstrate the variety and breadth of advice received from whistleblowers," added Jane Norberg, head of the SEC's whistleblower office. “Last month's winners include people outside the company who provided independent analysis, international whistleblowers who shed light on hard-to-detect behaviors abroad, and company insiders who have provided critical information and substantial assistance which helped the Commission to better protect investors and the market. And today, the four winners each provided the tip that triggered the opening of the case. "

The SEC has awarded nearly $ 562 million to 106 people since the release of its first award in 2012. All payments are made from an investor protection fund established by Congress and funded entirely by monetary penalties paid. to the SEC by violators of securities laws. No money was taken or withheld from aggrieved investors to pay whistleblower rewards.

Whistleblowers may be eligible for an award when they voluntarily provide the SEC with original, timely, and credible information that leads to successful enforcement action. Whistleblower rewards can range from 10 to 30% of the money collected when monetary penalties exceed $ 1 million.

As stated in the Dodd-Frank Act, the SEC protects the confidentiality of whistleblowers and does not disclose information that could reveal the identity of a whistleblower.

SEC website

Virginie Gastine Menou

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