SEC Whistleblower Awards

The statutory amounts for SEC whistleblower awards are 10% to 30% and over a million dollars. The SEC has much discretion, although it is possible to appeal their decisions with respect to awarding funds to a whistleblower.

When it comes to an award, it is imperative to understand that they whistleblower has to obtain a million dollars in aggregate on behalf of the government to qualify for an award and the minimum award that they can provide is 10%.

A seasoned whistleblower lawyer could help explain what might lead to a successful award and how much might be involved in the process. Call today and set up a consultation with a well-versed legal professional.

Factors that Can Increase an Award

The SEC said that the factors that it considers are the significance of the information provided to the success of proceeding against the defendant, the extent of the assistance provided to the investigation, its interest in determining that these particular securities will not be violated, and to the extent to which the whistleblower participated in any internal reporting programs.

Those are what it claims are their factors for determining how to increase, or whether they should increase, the amount of the SEC whistleblower award within the 10% to 30% threshold.

The SEC says that the reasons that it will decrease an award are the degree to which an individual was a participant in or party to the violations reported, if they “unreasonably delayed” reporting the violations to the SEC, or if they interfered with the company’s internal compliance and reporting system by making false statements to the compliance department or something else that has hindered and distracted such internal investigation.

Appealing a Whistleblower Decision

A person has the ability to appeal the SEC whistleblower award decision. There is an initial determination by the office of the whistleblower, and the whistleblower can appeal that within 60 days to the commission and attempt to get the commission to increase the award. If the commission denies the application for an award outright, the whistleblower may appeal that decision to the United States Court of Appeals within 30 days of the final decision being issued. When the final determination of an award that the SEC will provide an award and that award is between 10% and 30% of the monetary sanctions collected in action, then the commission’s decision is not appealable. The individual should have two outlets: to go to the commission and appeal and try to get either an increase to an award or if they deny it outright, they can go to the court. They cannot go to the court unless they are denied an award and unless they do not provide at least 10% of what is collected.

How an Attorney Argues for a Higher Award

To qualify for an award, first, the SEC has to collect a certain amount of money posted on the website. Then there are 90 days in which the whistleblower has to file a form and supporting information that supports the concept that the whistleblower should be entitled to an award. The attorney and the whistleblower work to demonstrate that the whistleblower’s participation and investigation of whistleblower’s information are significant to the SEC and the lawyer presents that argument. For more information about SEC whistleblower awards, reach out to an accomplished lawyer.