The United States Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of the Whistleblower has only been open since August 2011, yet it has already made a pretty big name for itself in protecting the rights of whistleblowers and awarding them for their contributions. Within those three years, many whistleblowers have come away with large monetary awards, which have helped to increase the visibility of the office while sending a message to large corporations and government agencies that fraud and other internal crimes will not be tolerated.
The office was created in 2010 when President Obama signed into law the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. As a part of the law, there would be a brand-new incentive program for whistleblowers at the Commodity Futures Trading Commissions, handing out rewards to anyone who tips off the government about violations of the Commodity Exchange Act. This program allows for whistleblowers to come away with awards of anywhere between 10 and 30 percent of all monetary sanctions. The money paid in these awards comes directly from the SEC’s Investor Protection Fund.
The new SEC whistleblower office made quite a splash in its first year of operation. The 2012 fiscal year saw a total of 3,001 whistleblower tips come in through the office. The first award issued came in August 2012, when a whistleblower received $50,000 for their part in stopping a multi-million dollar fraud scheme.
Since then, there have been nine other awards handed out, the largest coming just recently in September 2014. In that award, the SEC announced that a foreign whistleblower would receive approximately $30 million for providing information about an extremely difficult-to-detect ongoing fraud scheme.
So far after three years, the new whistleblower program has generally been lauded as a success. Now, there are more protections and incentives for whistleblowers than ever before.
Speak with a Dallas whistleblower attorney today from Whistleblower Law for Managers for more information about the SEC Office of the Whistleblower and how it looks out for people reporting instances of fraud.