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SEC Whistleblower Program: What You Need to Know

When you become aware of securities fraud or other financial market violations, it can be stressful to determine what to do with that information. Reporting internally could result in retaliation, and you may not know whether reporting your tip to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is appropriate.

Below are the most common types of securities violations the SEC is interested in investigating. You’ll also find the criteria for winning a whistleblower award so you can have a greater understanding of the SEC whistleblower program. 

Types of Fraud the SEC Investigates

Virtually any type of securities violation is importation to the SEC, but there are some types of securities violations that occur more frequently than others. Some of the most frequently seen types of fraud committed by stockbrokers, financial advisors, and financial planning institutions include:

  • Insider trading
  • Investment fraud
  • Selling away 
  • Money laundering
  • Embezzlement
  • Ponzi schemes
  • Prime bank schemes
  • Rogue trading
  • Stockbroker misconduct

Blowing the whistle on securities violations can put you at risk for retaliation. You could be harassed, intimidated, threatened, have your professional reputation destroyed, be demoted, or even be terminated. 

Although there are laws in place to prohibit retaliatory action against whistleblowers, this often does not stop companies or individuals from retaliating. 

Fortunately, if you are retaliated against, both you and the SEC can take legal action against the individual or entity who retaliated against you. The SEC can impose further sanctions, and you can file a lawsuit seeking compensation for the reputational damage, lost income and earning capacity, and other losses you endured because of the retaliation.

How to Win a Whistleblower Award

In order to qualify for a whistleblower award, you will need to meet the criteria for such as outlined by the SEC whistleblower program. These requirements include coming forward with your information voluntarily, the information being considered original, the SEC being able to impose sanctions and other enforceable action against the fraudster, and the SEC recovering sanctions in excess of $1 million.

If you meet the requirements, then you will be entitled to anywhere between 10 and 30 percent of the recovered sanctions, depending on how valuable your tip was to the success of the SEC’s investigation. If you hope to maximize your award, you must provide the SEC with evidence to support your claims and its case, such as financial records and confidential, internal documents. 

Reach Out to an SEC Whistleblower Lawyer

If you are ready to report your tip to the SEC but you are interested in having a highly qualified SEC whistleblower lawyer represent your best interests, contact the attorneys at Meissner Associates for help with your whistleblower complaint. 

Discussing your tip is always free and confidential. To take advantage of this opportunity, give our office a call at 1-866-764-3100 or complete the secure contact form located at the bottom of this page.