Search Site

SEC Pays Out Second-Highest Whistleblower Award Ever in June

In early June, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) gave out the second-highest whistleblower award since 2011, the year its whistleblower program was established after the passage of the Dodd-Frank Act.

The award, for $17 million, went to an individual who significantly advanced an agency investigation, allowed the SEC to save time and resources and offered information of which the agency officials previously did not know. In the same order, the SEC declined to provide awards to two others, as the agency considered the information they disclosed to not be significantly helpful toward the investigation.

Connecting the dots

As part of the program, the SEC does not disclose the identities of whistleblowers, and so the order did not include any information that could potentially reveal who the individual is, and the company involved was also not shared with the public. It is interesting to note, however, that awards tend to be between 10 to 30 percent of the total money collected by the SEC, and thus the agency likely fined the company in question between about $50 million and $170 million.

In awarding whistleblowers, the SEC uses an investor protection fund Congress established as part of Dodd-Frank. The fund is financed through the money securities law violators pay to the federal agency.

The single-highest SEC whistleblower award remains $30 million, paid out to an individual in September 2014. Many legal experts agree that these high amounts of awards are likely to continue in the near future, as the SEC has placed a great deal of focus on the input of whistleblowers to seek action against businesses and organizations accused of wrongdoing.

As an executive, it’s important that you do whatever you can to protect your company. For further guidance on this important issue, speak with an experienced Dallas attorney at Whistleblower Law for Managers.

Awards & Honors
Our Office
  • Dallas Office
    4514 Cole Ave
    Dallas, Texas 75205
    Phone: 214-306-8045
    Fax: 469-729-9926
As Seen In
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.