Earlier this year, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced the largest whistleblower reward offered so far. The Office of the Whistleblower, a new part of the Securities and Exchange Commission, informed the public that a $14 million reward had been given to a whistleblower who helped recover substantial investor funds. The net result is that more people are now aware of the whistleblower rewards program offered by the Securities and Exchange Commission. California whistleblower and securities attorneys think that awareness will lead to more tips.
The recent announcement of a large reward should encourage more people to come forward with whistleblower tips. According to a recent Wall Street Survey, there was a 20% increase in awareness of the Securities and Exchange Commission Whistleblower Program this year. As awareness of the whistleblower program continues to grow, so will the number of whistleblower submissions to the Securities and Exchange Commission. California whistleblower and securities attorneys say that more tips will lead to more taxpayer and investor funds recovered.
The Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of the Whistleblower provides statistics about the whistleblower program. According to recent statistics released, there were 3,001 tips provided to the Office of the Whistleblower in 2012 and 3,238 so far in 2013. Since the inception of the program in 2011, there have been a total of 6,573 tips and complaints received.
Considering the recent press coverage and the size of rewards announced, it is possible that even more lucrative awards will be offered to whistleblowers in the future. The more tips that are received, the greater the chance that one of them could lead to a huge payout. Under the guidelines of the program, individuals who voluntarily provide the Securities and Exchange Commission with original information that leads to a successful enforcement action resulting in monetary sanctions of more than $1 million are eligible to receive an award equal to between 10 and 30% of the total recovered. The Securities and Exchange Commission has saved approximately $439 million to pay future whistleblower rewards. California whistleblower and securities attorneys encourage those with inside knowledge to step forward and help the government to reclaim funds.
Many whistleblowers still fear coming forward because of possible retaliation from employers. The Securities and Exchange Commission allows anonymous reporting of tips if the whistleblower is represented by an attorney. Savvy whistleblower attorneys utilize a variety of strategies to protect the identities of their clients. Whistleblowers must provide their identity to the Securities and Exchange Commission before they are eligible to receive an award. However, the identities of whistleblowers is not publicly disclosed when rewards are announced.
So far the most common violations reported have been financial reporting violations, market manipulations and financial fraud. Tips have come from every state in the union during the past 12 months. In 2013, California has provided more tips than any other state. Since the program began, tips have come from 68 countries, with the United Kingdom providing the most.
Evans Law Firm, Inc. handles whistleblower/false claims, consumer fraud class actions, insurance and banking fraud, consumer product liability, elder abuse, and personal injury cases. If you think that you have witnessed or are the victim of financial fraud by an insurance company, bank or individual then, contact Evans Law Firm, Inc. at (415) 441-8669 for a free and confidential consultation, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.