Earlier this summer, the Securities and Exchange Commission issued a proposal that would give it greater discretion when making awards to people who blow the whistle on securities violations under the Dodd-Frank Act. Allowing it to offer larger awards in small cases would foster compliance in the industry, the agency says. It would pay for the increases by cutting into the very large awards paid out in a handful of cases each year.
Under the Securities and Exchange Commission's "safe harbor" rule, securities law whistleblowers can receive awards even if they submit their information to another agency, as long as they submit it to the SEC within 120 days. When they do so, the SEC will treat the information as if it had been submitted properly in the first place.
The Securities and Exchange Commission has just announced three record-setting rewards for whistleblowers under the Dodd-Frank Act. Two of the whistleblowers will share an award of nearly $50 million, while a third will receive over $33 million. The SEC says that the previous record was a 2014 award of $30 million.
In most cases, whistleblowers have legal protections against retaliation. If you exercise your legal rights at work in good faith, for example, there are laws that prohibit your employer from firing you or taking other adverse job actions against you. If you report that your company is engaged in fraud against the government, you are not only protected from retaliation but also may claim a percentage of the recovered money as a reward. You should work with an experienced lawyer to ensure your rights are protected, but the law is on your side.
A former employee of the Bank of the Internet claims he saw wrongful conduct occur at BofI between his hiring in 2013 and his firing in June 2015. He cited over a dozen examples of wrongful conduct of a serious nature.
The U.S. Supreme Court recently announced that it will review the application of the Dodd-Frank Act to whistleblowing activity in the financial sector. The vice president of a San Francisco-based company was fired when he told senior management at his firm that his supervisor had apparently done away with some internal controls, which violated securities law.