The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has again ramped up the number of awards it gives out for individuals who blow the whistle on corrupt or illegal practices happening within their businesses, organizations or government agencies. It looks as if 2016 will be a record year for the program, as there have already been 10 awards and a total of $26 million provided to whistleblowers through the first half of the year alone.
The SEC’s Whistleblower Program, launched in 2011, provides monetary awards to people who help the agency uncover violations. To be eligible for an award, an individual must voluntarily provide the SEC with information related to violations of U.S. securities or bribery, and the information must be based on independent analysis or knowledge — and not public sources.
The program has grown considerably over the past several years, going from just one award for $50,000 in 2012 to several individual awards this year for more than $1 million each. In June, one individual received $17 million, making it the largest single award given out to date. All of the money the SEC has distributed to whistleblowers in 2016 alone amounts to nearly one-third of all of the awards it has distributed since 2011.
Most whistleblower legal scholars agree that the SEC will continue to increase the numbers and amounts of awards it delivers as time goes on. So, it will come as no surprise if 2017’s numbers outpace this year’s — breaking more records.
To learn more about how you can best protect your business or organization through comprehensive corporate investigations, consult an experienced Dallas attorney at Whistleblower Law for Managers.