Search Site
Menu
Can a Culpable Whistleblower Receive an Award from the SEC?

There are some circumstances in which culpable whistleblowers can receive SEC whistleblower awards. According to the rules of the SEC Whistleblower Program, culpable whistleblowers increase the agency’s ability to uncover violations of securities laws, increase the efficiency of investigations made by the agency and provide critical evidence the agency might not otherwise uncover.

Consider the alternative—if culpable whistleblowers simply withheld their information out of fear they would be punished, that could cause a significant amount of damage. The SEC’s willingness to compensate whistleblowers who come forward even after taking part in wrongdoing themselves shows how much they value the unique information provided by all whistleblowers.

A history of awards

Indeed, one can look at the SEC’s history of awards and find several noteworthy examples of culpable whistleblowers receiving a significant amount of money for their assistance.

In 2016, the SEC gave a whistleblower a $22 million award after they helped the agency uncover a well-hidden case of fraud. The commission did consider some of the factors that mitigated the whistleblower’s culpability when trying to determine the appropriate amount of damage, however it determined the whistleblower did not financially benefit from the misconduct.

In 2017, a whistleblower received $1.7 million after helping the Commission stop a multi-year fraud scheme that would have been difficult for the agency to detect on its own. There were some mitigating factors in the determination of the award, but $1.7 million is still a hefty sum.

Finally, another whistleblower in 2018 received an award the SEC reduced to $1.5 million after finding the whistleblower had unreasonably delayed their reports, and that the whistleblower received some direct financial benefit in the scheme.

For more information about the SEC whistleblower program and submitting your unique tips, contact an experienced whistleblower lawyer at Kardell Law Group.

Honors
Our Office
  • Dallas Office
    4514 Cole Ave
    #600
    Dallas, Texas 75205
    Phone: 214-306-8045
    Fax: 469-729-9926
Testimonials
  • "Steve Kardell was terrific in representing me in some very adversarial discussions with Citigroup and also later represented me in my testimony before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission."  -Richard Bowen, Citigroup Whistleblower

  • "Incredible knowledge of employee related concerns and equally brilliant knowledge of health care regulations, standards of practice. I would recommend this firm to anyone."  -V.B.

  • "Reaching out to Steve Kardell was the best decision I made. His ability to provide immediate insight and direction was very powerful, and a huge relief during a very stressful time period. For anyone struggling with a whistleblower situation, I would highly recommend at least speaking with Steve. After a 10 minute call with him, I had a better understanding of what I was dealing with. Even better, he gave me some immediate hope. In the end Steve did a better job than I thought was possible. Steve was able to get in contact with people in my organization, that I didn’t have access to. Because of his years of experience, he already has contacts in many organizations in Dallas. The entire situation was handled peacefully. I was impressed by his ability to “keep the peace”–rather than creating a battle with the organization. The reason I didn’t reach out to a lawyer initially, was because I thought it would mean an immediate end to any hope of a positive relationship with the company. Steve was able to address my concerns, and in the end I was able to continue to work for them."  -KS

  • "Never thought my career would end like it did after 30 years of service. I was part of the first round of the so called reduction of force. I asked myself how can I be part of this with 30 years of seniority. How did they pick these 90 plus employees? Now, the culture of this organization made you question every decision they made. It wasn’t what you knew it’s was a culture of who you know. Nonetheless, I did not accept their severance package. I immediately starting looking for an attorney who would take on my case. After the initial call to Steve I had hope again. He was open and honest about everything and reassured me he would do his best for me, and he did. I had an awesome outcome. Thanks Steve you’re the best."  -S.S.

FOLLOW US
Facebook Twitter Linkedin RSS Feed JD Supra