The SEC’s New Approach to Fighting Corporate Crime
As the SEC whistleblower program issues a $17 Million reward, the second largest since the creation of the program in 2010, the Securities and Exchange Commission is signaling a clean break with its historic policy of encouraging businesses to police themselves. In the wake of the Great Recession, there is little confidence left that large financial institutions have any desire or incentive to curb their illegal practices, and instead the SEC has chosen to take a page from the False Claims Act, and empower and protect those who aid the SEC in their investigations.
It has been acknowledged for years that whistleblowers, distasteful as they may be to those whose malfeasance they disclose, are essential to preventing and uncovering misdeeds by bad actors both in the private and public spheres. The False Claims Act, enacted during the Civil War, empowered citizens to file suit against those who defrauded the government, and is still in use to this day. Over the years it has restored hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars, and the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower is looking to create a similar record.
The SEC focusses on investigating corporate misdeeds, particularly attempts to defraud investors. In large convoluted multi-national companies, following the paper-trail through the echelons of the corporate hierarchy can be nearly impossible for an outsider who is unfamiliar with the structure and practices of the organization. A whistleblower from inside the organization can often be a catalyst that makes it possible for SEC investigators to carry out a full-scale investigation of a company. Our California whistleblower attorneys have helped employees from throughout corporate structures file their claims.
Whistleblowers must have unique, non-public information that they can provide to the investigators if they wish to receive a reward, which is usually between 10-15% of the total recovery. This is often provided by accountants, technical staff, or even high-ranking corporate officers. Whistleblowers provide an invaluable service to regulators, giving them access to information they might not otherwise be able to access, as well as a chance to get a head start before a company attempts to cover their tracks.
If you believe that you may have information about illegal corporate actions, contact the Evans Law Firm at (415) 441-8669, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our California whistleblower attorneys can help you navigate the requirements of IRS, SEC and qui tam actions, and help maximize your chances of receiving a reward for your information.