February 21, 2020

SEC Whistleblower Process

If you have pertinent information about a possible violation of securities laws and are considering reporting your information to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), you would be well-advised to speak with an SEC whistleblower attorney at Meissner Associates.

Our knowledgeable whistleblower lawyers can walk you through the steps involved in disclosing suspected securities fraud while keeping your tip anonymous and protecting your legal rights.

Consult an SEC Whistleblower Lawyer

Meissner Associates specializes in securities fraud and in representing whistleblowers. We have been through this process numerous times and will review the information you have in order to determine if a federal violation has occurred, and if it has, whether this should be reported internally or directly to the SEC.

Reporting Information

Employees of a company that is suspected of securities fraud have the option of dual reporting. If a report is filed internally and with the SEC, when the company’s investigation supports your findings and they send this information to the SEC, you will be looked on favorably in the SEC’s determination of your award percentage.

If your whistleblower attorney comes to the decision that filing directly with the SEC and bypassing the internal compliance process is the best course of action, we will prepare an initial draft of your tip. You will then either authorize us to release your identity or remain anonymous as a whistleblower.

Interview with the Whistleblower

Once your information has been received by the SEC, it will be assigned to an enforcer who will eventually reach out to schedule an interview with you. If you have chosen to remain anonymous during the government’s investigation, the interview can be conducted via telephone to protect your identity.

Investigating Claims

When the SEC chooses to investigate the validity of a tip made by a whistleblower, it can take years before they gather the evidence they need to bring action against the offending company due to the extensive interview process, reviews of compiled data, subpoenas, and meetings with the company.

After the SEC has decided to enforce an action against the fraud, either negotiations for a settlement will begin or they will bring a lawsuit against the company in federal court. At this time, your identity may be revealed as the whistleblower if you are asked to testify in court, although it is more likely that you will be able to remain anonymous.

If the lawsuit is brought to trial, it could take even longer for a verdict to be rendered, and then a lengthy appeals process will likely follow.

Claiming Your Award as a Whistleblower Informant

When a settlement or guilty verdict is reached, we will be notified via a Notice of Covered Action that a claim is now open and that the whistleblower may file for an award. The SEC will review the information you provided and how it contributed to the recovery of funds or bringing the violating company to justice.

They will make a recommendation regarding what they believe you are entitled to receive as a reward for your participation, and you will either accept their award amount or file an appeal if you weren’t awarded accordingly—or if you were denied an award altogether.

Meissner Associates will help you from the beginning of the SEC whistleblower process all the way through to its completion.