The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently released its annual report on its new whistleblower program, and according to that report, whistleblower tips and awards through the agency are on the rise. This year saw more than 3,500 tips from whistleblowers, the largest number the agency has received since beginning its whistleblower program three years ago.
The year 2014 also saw the most monetary awards handed out to whistleblowers. The SEC authorized awards to nine different whistleblowers, including a record $30 million award handed out to a still-unknown overseas whistleblower that helped the SEC to uncover the existence of a major ongoing fraud scheme. That $30 million payout was a huge milestone in the whistleblower program and a barometer of the kind of success the program has had in its first three years of existence.
The total number of tips received by the SEC this year was 3,620, up from 3,238 in 2013. Tips came from all 50 states, as well as Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico, with the highest volume of tips coming from California, Florida, New York and Texas. Tips even came from locations outside of the United States, including Great Britain, India, China, Australia and Canada.
The SEC report also mentioned some of its rejected claims, including 143 claims submitted by the same person who had no basis to file a claim. Apparently, the SEC had also once rejected 53 other claims from that same person.
The SEC’s whistleblower program continues to evolve since the passing of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law in 2010, which allowed the SEC to start the program that hands out rewards for whistleblowers if the whistleblower’s tip leads to a collection of greater than $1 million in sanctions.
If you are aware of wrongdoing within your agency, speak with a knowledgeable Dallas lawyer at Whistleblower Law for Managers for information on how you can file a claim with the SEC.