So you did the right thing and reported a securities violation you became aware of to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). You know the commission has conducted a thorough investigation and has begun to take action against the violating company.
Now what? You might be aware that you could have the opportunity to become an award-winning whistleblower, but how? Continue reading to learn more about how you can claim your award.
You must meet highly specific criteria in order to be eligible for an award. First, you must come forward with your tip before the SEC questions you about the violation in question.
This is paramount, as the SEC already has some knowledge about the practices within the company if it has already started an investigation. If investigators begin to question you and you provide a tip, you will not be able to win an award. If you come forward before this interview, however, you will be eligible.
The information you provide must be original. This aspect has two components: You must be the first person to come forward with the tip, and the information cannot have been public knowledge. Tips you heard around the office do apply, while those read in the newspaper or seen on TV do not.
Additionally, the SEC must be able to take enforceable action against the violating company and recover monetary sanctions of at least $1,000,000 in order for you to qualify for a financial award. If your tip is critical to the investigation and you meet the other criteria, you could be entitled to an award of between 10 and 30 percent of the recovered funds. The Process
The SEC’s website has a page devoted to cases that have recovered at least $1,000,000. This is known as the “Notices of Covered Actions” (NoCA). You can check this page to see whether your case has been included. You might also be alerted by your attorney or a representative of the whistleblower office if you’ve been working with one.
Once you know your case is eligible for an award, you will fill out Form WB-APP, which will include your contact information and the case you helped the SEC with. You must submit this form within ninety days of the case being posted on the NoCA page. From there, a claims staff member will review your tip and how it helped the SEC determine what you should be awarded.
If you hoped to remain anonymous as a whistleblower, your attorney will work with the SEC on your behalf to gain access to the award you are entitled to while your identity remains protected.
If you recently provided a tip to the SEC about a securities violation and are interested in claiming an award, contact a qualified SEC whistleblower lawyer with Meissner Associates as soon as possible. You can reach us by filling out the contact form below or giving us a call at 1-866-764-3100.