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Key Highlights from the SEC’s 2015 Annual Whistleblower Report

The Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of the Whistleblower released its yearly report on the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program to Congress in November. The report includes a variety of information about the OWB’s various activities and payouts for the fiscal year 2015.

The following is some of the most interesting information found in the report:

  • Since the whistleblower program began in 2011, the SEC has paid more than $54 million in total awards to 22 whistleblowers.
  • Of that $54 million, $37 million came in 2015 alone. This included a record award of $30 million to a single whistleblower. Other awards issued in 2015 ranged from $325,000 to more than $3 million, including a $1 million award to a compliance officer, a $500,000 award to a former company officer and a $600,000 award in the first anti-retaliation case for the SEC.
  • The SEC stressed that the substantial growth of whistleblower tips it received in 2015 was due to improved public awareness of the whistleblower program. There was a 30 percent increase in total tips from 2012 to 2015, with the OWB receiving approximately 4,000 whistleblower tips in 2015. The most common types of insights received by the office were corporate disclosures and financials, offering fraud and manipulation. The state with by far the most complaints was California, with New York, Florida and Texas rounding out the top four.
  • The SEC brought its first enforcement action for employee confidentiality agreements in 2015 under SEC’s rule 21F-17.
  • In August, the SEC released its interpretive rule to help clarify exactly how a whistleblower is defined under the Dodd-Frank Act.

For more information on some of the most important steps taken and stories heard in 2015 in the world of whistleblower law, contact a knowledgeable Dallas lawyer at Whistleblower Law for Managers.

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