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Successes Highlighted in SEC Whistleblower Program’s Annual Report

The SEC Office of the Whistleblower recently released its annual report for 2017. The big headline coming from the report is that whistleblower tips have helped the SEC recover nearly $1 billion in monetary sanctions from wrongdoers at agencies and businesses across the nation, including more than $671 million in the disgorgement of illegally received finances.

Below are some of the highlights included in the report:

  • In 2017 alone, the SEC issued nearly $50 million to whistleblowers. The agency has issued more than $162 million to whistleblowers since the program’s inception in August 2011, with the largest single award at more than $30 million.
  • Approximately 56 percent of award recipients in 2017 were represented by attorneys, and 19 percent of them filed their claims anonymously. Anonymous submissions are only allowed if the submitter has legal counsel.
  • The SEC received a total of 4,484 tips in 2017, the largest number it has ever received in a single year. The agency has received almost 23,000 tips since the program’s inception in 2011.
  • The largest number of tips came from the states of California, New York, Texas, Florida and New Jersey.
  • The SEC received 12 percent of its tips from individuals in foreign countries, a slight increase from the 10 percent in 2016. These individuals largely came from the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia.
  • The SEC brought its third-ever anti-retaliation enforcement action in 2017.
  • The SEC brought two actions against companies for implementing illegal restrictions in severance and separation agreements that would have deterred potential whistleblowers from offering information to the agency.
  • The most common tips offered to the SEC were in the categories of Corporate Disclosures and Financials (19 percent), Offering Fraud (18 percent) and Manipulation (12 percent).

For more information on how to file a complaint with the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower, contact a trusted Dallas lawyer at Whistleblower Law for Managers.

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  • "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

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