The Securities and Exchange Commission’s Whistleblower Program pays significant monetary awards to persons who assist its effort to enforce U.S. securities laws.
The SEC’s program is designed to encourage the reporting of violations such as accounting fraud, insider trading, market-manipulation schemes, false or misleading disclosures in SEC filings and earnings calls, or the bribery of foreign governments or officials.
How does the SEC Whistleblower Program work?
A person who voluntarily provides the SEC with original information that leads to an enforcement action of more than $1 million will be awarded between 10 and 30 percent of the total money collected by the SEC. A number of factors are considered in determining the precise percentage, including the degree of assistance provided by the whistleblower.
Whistleblowers may report to the SEC anonymously, as long as they have retained a lawyer to represent them with the submission. In some cases, the whistleblower may remain completely anonymous throughout the SEC’s investigation. Even when the whistleblower receives payment, the SEC has shown a willingness to redact bounty award orders so as to keep the whistleblower’s identity confidential.
The SEC consistently maintains a substantial fund dedicated to whistleblower payouts. The SEC has paid out more than $262 million to 53 whistleblowers since the program’s inception.
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