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Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program 2016 Report Shows Rise in Activity

On November 15, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued its yearly report on the Office of the Whistleblower, created through the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010. Under the program, anyone who submits original information that directly results in enforcement actions for securities violations leading to fines of more than $1 million is eligible for an award worth 10 to 30 percent of those sanctions.

Each year, the SEC issues the annual report to summarize the whistleblower complaints received that year and how the agency responded to them. This past year was the busiest yet for the Office of the Whistleblower, with more claims submitted and awards granted since 2011.

The following is a quick overview of some of the information included in the report:

  • In 2016, the SEC issued awards worth more than $57 million to whistleblowers, a figure that was higher than all previous years under the program combined.
  • Six of the top 10 largest whistleblower awards of all time were issued in 2016.
  • The total amount of awards issued to whistleblowers since 2011 is now more than $100 million.
  • The SEC received more than 4,200 tips from would-be whistleblowers in 2016, the largest number of tips the program has received in its history.
  • The most common categories of whistleblower complaints submitted to the SEC were corporate disclosures and financials (22 percent), offering fraud (15 percent) and manipulation (11 percent).
  • Whistleblower complaints came from people in 48 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and 67 foreign nations.
  • Nearly 65 percent of all award recipients so far were either current or former employees of the company the action was taken against. Approximately 80 percent of those individuals reported their concerns internally before going to the SEC.

The incentives the SEC has established in recent years makes it easier and more advantageous than ever for whistleblowers to come forward with complaints. To learn more provide the SEC and other regulators with tips, meet with a knowledgeable Dallas attorney at Whistleblower Law for Managers.

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