Securities Law

Common Securities Violations

Qualifying for the Whistleblower Program

One of the first questions we are asked: Does this misconduct meet the criteria of the whistleblower program?

It makes sense. As large awards are announced and the Commission continues to flex its muscle in protecting employee whistleblowers, more and more individuals come forward to report corporate wrongdoing. Within our practice, our team’s combined decades of experience at the SEC enable us to quickly identify securities violations; prospective whistleblowers are always encouraged to reach out for counsel. Even independently, however, it may be helpful for individuals to understand the common violations that qualify for the program.

A whistleblower may report any possible violation of the federal securities laws that has occurred, is ongoing, or is about to occur. In terms of geographic scope, the reported misconduct may occur anywhere in the world. International organizations and individuals that do business in the United States may be subject to this jurisdiction based on their contacts with the country.

While there are numerous types of securities law violations, in the ensuing pages, we provide a brief summary of the most common types of violations reported by SEC whistleblowers. For more information on historical violations where the sanctions exceeded the $1 million threshold, please see our Sanctions Database.

Last year, nearly 50% of whistleblower tips alleged offering fraud and corporate disclosure violations

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