What Counts as Original Information for an SEC Whistleblower Tip?
Submitting a tip to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) does not guarantee a reward—even if the SEC collects sanctions in excess of $1,000,000. In order to collect a reward, it’s necessary for a whistleblower’s tip to be original.
But what exactly does that mean?
To count as original, the information supplied by a whistleblower tip must be new information that the SEC did not previously possess. If you submit a tip and the SEC is already aware of everything indicated on your Form TCR, then you won’t be eligible for a whistleblower bounty.
This emphasizes precisely how important it is to act quickly and decisively. If you hesitate too long, another whistleblower could decide to contact the SEC with the same information that you possess. Once this happens, your information is no longer original.
Supplementing Old Information
You could still be eligible for a reward if your original information supplements an already-existing investigation. It’s entirely possible for one investigation to see multiple whistleblowers rewarded, so even if your information doesn’t trigger an SEC investigation, you could still be rewarded for providing original information that moves their investigation along.
If multiple whistleblowers contribute to the same investigation, it’s critical to be as helpful as possible. Making yourself available to help the SEC utilize your information can potentially increase the amount of your reward.
Help from an SEC Whistleblower Attorney
Meissner Associates can help you determine whether your information is original and how likely the SEC is to act upon it. We’ve been helping whistleblowers since before the Dodd-Frank Act was even signed into law.