The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) offers a whistleblower program in an effort to root out wrongdoing related to federal securities laws. Whistleblowers that provide actionable tips to the SEC could recover a monetary award for their efforts. Pursuing these awards can be simplified with the help of a dedicated whistleblower attorney.
If you are considering the pursuit of a whistleblower claim with the SEC, you do not have to take on that challenge alone. Let a Charleston SEC whistleblower lawyer help you protect your rights and pursue the award you might be entitled to recover.
Any person that provides original information that leads to a successful SEC enforcement action could be entitled to a monetary award. Original information means any data, tips, or documents that the SEC does not already have in its possession. This enforcement action must result in at least $1 million in total monetary sanctions for it to lead to an award. These sanctions can include interest, penalties, and disgorgement.
The award for an SEC whistleblower tip is between 10 and 30 percent of the total amount of sanctions collected. The amount of an award will vary depending on the facts of the case. There is a subjective element to how the SEC determines the amount of an award, as they consider positive factors that could increase the amount as well as negative factors that could decrease the amount.
The SEC will first look at the significance of the information provided by the whistleblower. If a tip is single-handedly responsible for the success of the enforcement action, the chances of a larger percentage will grow. The SEC will also consider the extent of a whistleblower’s effort. The SEC will also consider if a whistleblower complied with a company’s internal reporting guidelines prior to making an allegation.
Other factors could reduce the amount of the award. For example, a whistleblower that initially participated in the violation might see a reduction in their award for later reporting it voluntarily. Unreasonable delays in reporting a violation could also result in a reduced award.
A whistleblower could also see their award reduced or even denied depending on their interaction with an employer’s compliance staff. Making false statements to compliance officers or otherwise interfering in compliance efforts could be costly if those actions hindered efforts by the company to look into any wrongdoing. An experienced SEC whistleblower attorney in Charleston could help with avoiding the factors that could reduce an award.
While federal law prevents an employer from retaliating against an employer for serving as a whistleblower, the unfortunate reality is retaliation happens. Examples could include demotion, a reduction in salary, or a reduction in duties in response to a whistleblower action. It is possible to a legal claim against an employer following retaliation against a whistleblower. This complaint could result in financial compensation if successful.
The thought of making a whistleblower complaint against an employer can be overwhelming. That said, the potential monetary award and the feeling of doing what’s right can be rewarding.
Having the support and guidance of legal counsel could reduce the stress that comes with filing a whistleblower complaint. Let an attorney assist you with a whistleblower complaint. Call a Charleston SEC whistleblower lawyer today for more information.