SEC Whistleblower Program

The United States Congress created the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Office of the Whistleblower in July 2010. The SEC Whistleblower Program was created as a result of Section 922 in the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. As a result of this law, the SEC Whistleblower Program can provide monetary incentives for individuals to come forward with original information on violations of federal securities laws. Since its inception in 2011 the Chief of the Whistleblower Office, Sean McKessy, reports that the Whistleblower Office receives about eight whistleblower tips each day. Some examples of securities violations include:

  • Insider trading
  • Fraudulent financial reporting
  • Ponzi schemes
  • Money laundering
  • Investment manager fraud

Eligible whistleblowers can receive an award ranging from 15% to 30% of the monetary sanction collected by the SEC and other enforcement agencies, when the SEC and any other government agency collects more than $1 million. In addition to monetary rewards for information, the SEC Whistleblower Program also provides protection from retaliation. Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act prohibits employer retaliation against individuals who provide information on violations of federal securities law.