The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently awarded three compliance professionals a joint award of $1 million for their role in helping the agency uncover and prosecute misconduct at their firm.
As is always the case with SEC whistleblower awards, the identities of those whistleblowers were kept private, as well as any potential identifying information, such as their place of employment or the type of misconduct that led to the investigation.
There are special rules governing when compliance officers and internal auditors can secure SEC whistleblower awards. They must first attempt to report the matter internally to senior management. Only if management takes no action for 120 days can the officer then bring their concerns to the SEC and submit their whistleblower claim with the agency.
The SEC also did not indicate whether the three whistleblowers worked alone or in conjunction with each other.
Under the Dodd-Frank Act, would-be whistleblowers can submit their tips directly to the SEC, and be eligible to recover compensation for their efforts if they provide unique, actionable and timely enforcement action that results in penalties of greater than $1 million. Whistleblowers can receive anywhere from 10-to 30 percent of the sanctions, depending on the level of their contributions to the enforcement.
The money paid out to whistleblowers in SEC cases is entirely funded by enforcement actions, meaning no taxpayer money goes to support the program.
The process of filing a whistleblower claim and including sufficient supporting information can be challenging. Whistleblowers can work with an attorney to guide them through the process and maximize their chances of earning compensation for their contributions.
For more information about how to proceed with filing an SEC whistleblower claim, contact an experienced whistleblower attorney at Kardell Law Group.