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SEC Whistleblower Program
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One of the best ways to prevent blacklisting and retaliation, is to report misconduct anonymously. Recognizing this reality, the SEC made anonymous reporting a key pillar of the whistleblower program.
Those of us at the SEC who played a part in shaping the whistleblower program knew that providing whistleblowers with an avenue to report misconduct anonymously would provide a greater sense of safety and security. To do so, a whistleblower must be represented by an attorney and must provide the attorney a copy of the whistleblower submission signed under the penalty of perjury. The attorney will verify the identity of the whistleblower before any information is submitted to the SEC; serve as an intermediary between the SEC and whistleblower during any investigation and related enforcement action; and, in the case of a successful enforcement action, advocate for the highest potential monetary award. Prior to receiving any monetary award, for eligibility, tax and other reasons, whistleblowers must disclose their identity to the SEC.
Once an SEC whistleblower provides this identifying information to the SEC, the Commission is required by law to make every effort to protect this sensitive information.
SEC Whistleblower Attorneys at Labaton Sucharow can communicate with secure encrypted applications such as Signal, Telegram, and WhatsApp.
Anyone can report possible securities violations to the SEC directly without hiring a lawyer. However, if a whistleblower wishes to remain anonymous, pursuant to the program rules, they must retain a lawyer.
SEC whistleblowers who wish to remain anonymous must carefully eliminate potentially identifying information from all SEC communications and filings. Even if the initial whistleblower submission was anonymous, subsequent disclosures of potentially identifying information may make it difficult or impossible for the SEC Staff to protect a whistleblower’s identity. Several years ago, a whistleblower’s identity was unintentionally revealed when, during an SEC investigation, a company executive was presented with documentation and recognized the whistleblower’s handwriting. These are the kinds of amateur mistakes that we have experience avoiding.
For more information, visit our FAQ page.
To confidentially examine whether you might qualify for the whistleblower program, you may request a case evaluation through our site, or call us at (212) 907-0700.