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SEC Issues Record-High Whistleblower Awards

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently announced that it issued its largest whistleblower award ever, breaking the previous record of a $30 million award it handed out in 2014.

The SEC split a $50 million pot between two whistleblowers, with one taking home more than $33 million. No further information was provided about the case in question or the whistleblowers themselves, as the agency does not identify whistleblowers and attempts to provide as little information as possible about the cases to protect individuals’ identities.


Earning SEC whistleblower awards

Since the SEC’s whistleblower program was instituted in 2011 and distributed its first award in 2012, it has issued a total of $262 million in awards to 53 total whistleblowers. Whistleblowers in the program can collect anywhere between 10 and 30 percent of monetary sanctions when those sanctions exceed more than $1 million.

There are other routes for whistleblowers to report wrongdoing if their cases are likely to be worth less than $1 million — the SEC program is just reserved for larger-value securities cases. The federal government over the last several years has expanded the options available for whistleblowers, the protections afforded to them and the potential they have to earn significant rewards for their assistance in uncovering wrongdoing.

While the SEC whistleblower program was initially the most-used outlet for would-be whistleblowers, the number of submitted whistleblower complaints through other federal programs have begun to catch up within the last couple years.

For more information on the options available to you when serving as a whistleblower, speak with a knowledgeable Dallas attorney at Kardell Law Group.

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In his new book, "Standing Up to China: How a Whistleblower Risked Everything for His Country," former client & Author, Ashley Yablon, quotes Attorney Steve Kardell about Whistelblower Law.
  • "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.