Compliance Officer Whistleblower Lawyer
Even compliance personnel can become SEC whistleblowers under the right circumstances. Find out if your situation qualifies by speaking with a compliance officer whistleblower attorney.
A company’s compliance personnel are often put into difficult positions when it comes to securities fraud, inadequate corporate disclosures, and poor internal controls. It’s not uncommon for management to be slow to correct these issues—often because the “problem” works in their favor.
Adding to the difficulty, many compliance officers believe that they don’t have the option to report what they know to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). This, however, isn’t always accurate.
Under certain circumstances, a compliance officer can become an SEC whistleblower and claim a reward. By working with a compliance officer whistleblower lawyer from Meissner Associates, you can determine if your situation meets the necessary criteria and how best to proceed.
When Can Compliance Personnel Become SEC Whistleblowers?
Under section 21F-4 of the Securities Exchange Act, there are three distinct situations in which compliance personnel can become SEC whistleblowers:
- Reporting the misconduct is necessary to prevent substantial injury to the company or investor’s financial interests or property
- The company’s personnel are impeding an investigation into the misconduct
- The misconduct was appropriately disclosed at least 120 days ago, or there is evidence indicating that the company’s officers were already aware of the misconduct
Substantial Injury to the Company and Investors
Easily the most vaguely defined of the criteria allowing compliance officers to become whistleblowers, “substantial injury” covers quite a lot of ground.
In the end, if your evidence of securities fraud or corporate misconduct convinces the SEC that a failure to report would have resulted in jeopardy to the company or its investors, your situation could meet this criterion.
By working with a compliance officer whistleblower attorney, you can receive knowledgeable legal counsel regarding whether your situation is likely to qualify.
If the company or bank’s management is impeding the compliance team’s investigation into the misconduct, it becomes a huge red flag to the SEC. Because of this, compliance officers are encouraged to come forward so that the SEC can investigate whatever is being covered up.
In addition to the evidence of the misconduct, your whistleblower tip will also need to include evidence of how the investigation was impeded, so it pays to maintain memos or logs of what you’ve encountered.
120-Day Disclosures and Already-Aware Management
One of the reasons that the SEC restricts the ability of compliance personnel to become whistleblowers is that they don’t want to encourage the circumvention of internal controls and compliance programs.
However, if 120 days have passed since the misconduct has been reported and corrective action has yet to be taken, then more than enough time has passed in the SEC’s opinion.
Additionally, if there is evidence that indicates management was already aware of the misconduct prior to the compliance officer’s reporting it, this is yet another red flag to the SEC.
In either situation, compliance personnel are allowed to blow the whistle, as it is evident that the company or bank has no inclination to address the issue at hand.
Blow the Whistle as a Compliance Officer
Even if you’re a compliance officer, you might still be eligible to blow the whistle and claim a financial reward. Find out by submitting a free, confidential tip evaluation for review by a compliance officer whistleblower lawyer at Meissner Associates. Just call 1-866-764-3100 or complete the form below.