The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commissions Building

Recent Awards Illustrate the Importance of SEC Whistleblowers

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently paid out large awards to whistleblowers in two separate cases, one of which was the sixth-largest award since the inception of the SEC’s whistleblower program in 2011. 

The first award, which was announced by the SEC on April 16, 2020, involved a payment of over $27 million to a whistleblower who alerted the agency to financial misconduct. In justifying its reason for the award decision, the SEC stated that the whistleblower had repeatedly and strenuously raised the reported concerns internally before bringing them to the SEC. This is the sixth-largest award issued by the SEC to a whistleblower since the inception of the SEC’s whistleblower program in 2011. 

The second award, announced on April 20, 2020, involved a whistleblower who was let go after raising concerns internally regarding uncovered misconduct. This whistleblower was the recipient of a $5 million award from the SEC. The SEC announced that the whistleblower provided significant information that led to an enforcement action. This information included a critical document that demonstrated possible wrongdoing and helped save time and resources in the SEC’s investigation. In addition, the whistleblower promptly notified the SEC of this information after learning of it.

The SEC has awarded approximately $430 million to whistleblowers since it issued its first award in 2012. Ten awards have already been issued in 2020. Whistleblower awards can range from 10 to 30 percent of the money collected for amounts over $1 million. In addition, the SEC keeps the identities of whistleblowers secret and doesn’t disclose information that could lead to the discovery of a whistleblower’s identity. In order to participate in the whistleblower reward program and be eligible for financial compensation, a person must: 

  • Have original information about securities fraud or misconduct that has happened, is happening, or will happen in the future. 
  • Voluntarily provide this information to the SEC, which means that a person isn’t eligible if the information provided is pursuant to a court order, subpoena, investigation, or similar means.
  • Provide information that results in a successful SEC enforcement action and monetary sanctions in excess of $1 million. As noted above, a whistleblower in a successful SEC enforcement action is eligible to claim up to 30% of the sanctions imposed by the SEC.

Contact Our SEC Whistleblower Attorney Today 

If you have information concerning financial fraud, you may be entitled to significant financial compensation. However, in order to give you the best chance at recovery, you need an experienced SEC whistleblower attorney on your side. At Jeff Newman Law, we understand the tremendous courage it takes to come forward as a whistleblower. When we take you on as a client, we’ll negotiate on your behalf to obtain the maximum reward possible. Please contact us today to schedule a consultation.