When an individual or corporation is engaging in securities fraud, and you become aware of such violations, you might be able to win an award if you come forward and report your tip to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Becoming a whistleblower isn’t easy, but it’s the right thing to do when investors, your colleagues, and the public are at risk. Below, we discuss why whistleblowers often don’t report the information they have, and what criteria you need to meet to be eligible for an award.
Why Whistleblowers Don’t Come Forward
Often, when an individual has blown the whistle, their employer finds out, and the whistleblower is often subjected to retaliation. Retaliatory action might consist of the creation of a hostile work environment, demotion, harassment, intimidation, termination, and slander of the whistleblower’s professional reputation.
Fortunately, there are a number of whistleblower protections, including the Dodd-Frank Act and Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which strictly prohibit employers from retaliating against employees they suspect of whistleblowing.
In fact, if your employer does retaliate against you, you can file a claim against them that will allow you to recover damages, including double back pay, damage to your reputation, emotional distress, and a reinstatement to your position, if you were terminated.
What’s more, you have the option of reporting your tip anonymously if you are represented by an SEC whistleblower lawyer. This way, the chances of your employer finding out you blew the whistle are minimal. Eventually, if you are going to be issued a whistleblower award, the SEC will need to know who you are so they can provide you with your award.
You Could Win an Award
Before you can be eligible for a whistleblower award, you’ll need to meet very specific requirements as outlined by the SEC. They include the following:
- Your tip must be given voluntarily.
- The information you provide must be original, meaning you discovered your tip from a non-public source.
- The SEC must be able to take enforceable action against the violator.
- The sanctions recovered by the SEC must be greater than $1 million.
Once you meet the above criteria, you will be entitled to anywhere between 10 and 30 percent of the recovered sanctions, depending on how valuable your tip was to the success of the SEC’s investigation. For example, if the SEC is able to recover $25 million and they wouldn’t have been able to without you, you could receive up to $7.5 million as your award.
Your SEC whistleblower lawyer in Silicon Valley will review the details of your tip to determine what you can expect to happen moving forward, and whether you’ll be entitled to an award.
Consult a Silicon Valley SEC Whistleblower Lawyer
If you’re ready to take a chance and blow the whistle on fraudulent activity within your workplace, you can report your tip to the SEC anonymously when you work with an experienced Silicon Valley SEC whistleblower lawyer at Meissner Associates.
All prospective whistleblowers can schedule a confidential tip assessment today by completing the secure contact form we’ve included at the bottom of this page or by calling our office at 1-866-764-3100.