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Whistleblower Bounties Explained: How Dodd-Frank Awards Tipsters

In this short video, Jordan Thomas explains how SEC whistleblowers can earn staggering financial awards for reporting corporate misconduct.

SEC whistleblower awards can be significant, very significant. Awards are determined by the monetary sanctions collected from the entities and individuals engaged in the securities violations. The awards calculus is pretty straightforward: In actions where the total monetary sanctions exceed $1 million, eligible whistleblowers can receive 10-30% of the monies collected by the SEC. And there’s no cap on the size of awards. In fact, in one of our cases, our clients were eligible for a monetary award in excess of $100 million. But that’s not all. Whistleblowers may also be eligible for additional awards in connection with the monetary sanctions collected in related proceedings.

For example, if a whistleblower’s tip leads to a monetary sanction levied by the Department of Justice, he or she could be eligible for 10-30% of those sanctions as well. Big picture, these numbers can be substantial. In recent years, the SEC has secured more than $4 billion annually in monetary sanctions, with a number of these enforcement actions exceeding $100 million. A case in point, our whistleblower clients tipped the SEC to securities violations at Merrill Lynch that recently resulted in a staggering $415 million in monetary sanctions.

There’s no question that crime doesn’t pay. But reporting possible securities violations to the SEC surely does.

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