After you’ve reported your tip regarding securities violations to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), you’re probably wondering whether you’ll qualify for an award and how much you stand to collect.
Those who choose to blow the whistle on fraudulent activity are sometimes awarded for their courage via monetary compensation. Continue reading to learn more about how you can obtain a whistleblower award and how much you’re eligible to receive.
In order to qualify for a whistleblower award, there are very strict requirements you’ll need to meet. To begin, you will need to provide your information voluntarily. This means that if the SEC has already begun an investigation into the securities fraud in question, you’ll need to come forward before the SEC asks to interview you.
The information you provide will also need to be original. Original means that you’ve obtained your information from a source that hasn’t been made public. If you read about something on the news, that wouldn’t be considered original. But, if your tip was gathered from internal documents or through gossip at work, you need to come forward before someone else does.
Even if you meet each of these criteria, you can’t win an award unless the SEC is able to take enforceable action against those accused of committing fraud. For this to happen, your tip needs to be valuable to the success of the SEC’s investigation.
Finally, if you want to win a whistleblower award, the SEC will need to recover sanctions of at least $1 million. Of this, depending on how valuable your tip was, you could be entitled to anywhere between 10 and 30 percent of the recovered amount.
As of this article’s publication, there is no limit to how much you’ll be able to obtain as an award for whistleblowing. If the SEC recovers $100 million, for example, you could be awarded as much as $30 million for your bravery in coming forward.
However, the SEC has recently proposed an amendment to their current policies, which would allow them to limit the award amount at their discretion. Opponents to this proposition argue that doing so will weaken the whistleblower program, as a whole, while proponents argue that such large awards are not reasonable or necessary.
A decision has yet to be made, but whistleblowers put themselves at risk when they come forward, and some spend many years of their lives waiting for their efforts to come to fruition. As such, they should be awarded accordingly for the risks they’ve taken.
If you have further questions about your potential whistleblower award, or if you need assistance reporting your tip to the SEC, reach out to a highly trained SEC whistleblower lawyer at Meissner Associates. Give our office a call at 1-866-764-3100 or complete the secured contact form below to schedule your confidential tip review as soon as possible.