The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Protection Act (Dodd-Frank) authorizes the SEC and CFTC to pay monetary rewards to whistleblowers for exposing wrongdoing. You could be eligible for an award if you have information about any of the following violations of federal securities or federal commodities laws:
As the third largest city in the United States, with a total economic output of more than half a billion dollars and center of commodities trading, Chicago has been one of the top sources of whistleblower disclosures to the SEC and CFTC.
Under the Dodd-Frank’s whistleblower programs, the SEC and CFTC will issue awards to whistleblowers who provide original information that leads to enforcement actions with total monetary sanctions in excess of $1 million. A whistleblower may receive an award of between 10-30 percent of the amount collected.
Original information “leads to” a successful enforcement action if either: (i) the original information caused the staff to open an investigation, reopen an investigation, or inquire into different conduct as part of a current investigation, and the Commission brought a successful action based in whole or in part on conduct that was the subject of the original information; or (ii) the conduct was already under examination or investigation, and the original information significantly contributed to the success of the action.
In determining an award percentage, the SEC and CFTC whistleblower offices consider the particular facts and circumstances of each case. For example, positive factors may include the significance of the information, the level of assistance provided by the whistleblower and the whistleblower’s attorney, and the law enforcement interests at stake. The largest award to date is more than $30 million.
If represented by an attorney, a whistleblower may submit a tip anonymously to the whistleblower offices. In certain circumstances, a whistleblower may remain anonymous, even to the Commission, until a reward is issued. However, even at the time of a reward, a whistleblower’s identity is not made available to the public. An experienced whistleblower lawyer will be able to skillfully guide you through the process, maximizing the likelihood that your identity is not revealed to unauthorized parties.