Becoming an SEC whistleblower is a big deal, and it’s not uncommon for potential whistleblowers to be anxious or nervous about the process that follows submitting a tip to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Potential whistleblowers often want to know what to expect and how long the process will take.
The question of “how long” is not easy to answer, as it will vary from case to case. The more complicated the securities fraud taking place is and the less complete the whistleblower tip, the longer the investigation is likely to run.
Answering the question of what happens after a whistleblower tip is submitted to the SEC is much simpler, however, as the SEC has a standard process in place.
The SEC Whistleblower Form
First, your tip must be submitted to the SEC on the designated whistleblower form, officially known as Form TCR. (TCR stands for “Tip, Complaint, or Referral.”) It’s important to note that the only way to submit a Form TCR anonymously is through working with an SEC whistleblower attorney.
Once the whistleblower form has been submitted, the SEC will supply a TCR submission number that will be associated with your tip. If you don’t submit anonymously, this form will be filed under your name.
After the Form TCR Has Been Submitted
Once the SEC has your tip, at least two of their attorneys will review it. It’s also possible that some of their analysts and accountants will also assess the information.
At this point, one of three things will generally happen:
- Your tip will be referred to the Enforcement Division if the SEC is already conducting an investigation into the matter
- Your tip will cause a new investigation to be launched
- Your tip will be filed for future reference if the SEC declines to immediately open an investigation, such as if the information isn’t complete or compelling enough
How Do I Increase the Odds That the SEC Will Open an Investigation?
If the information provided on your whistleblower form is too vague or incomplete, then the SEC is less likely to be interested in pursuing the matter. The SEC is a fairly small federal agency, so they must be selective about how they apply their limited resources.
Our firm can help you submit a Form TCR that is as complete and concise as possible. We’ll make certain that no important details are omitted or presented unclearly. We have extensive experience working with whistleblowers, and we know how to submit a compelling SEC whistleblower form.
Get Help from an Experienced Whistleblower Attorney
Meissner Associates can provide the experience and knowledge you need on your side when blowing the whistle on securities fraud or inadequate corporate disclosures. For a free, confidential tip evaluation and additional information about the whistleblower process, please complete the form below or call 1-866-764-3100.