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Who Is An Eligible SEC Whistleblower?- Chapter 6

Most individuals, regardless of citizenship, may be “eligible” whistleblowers if they voluntarily provide the SEC with original information about a possible violation of the federal securities laws that has occurred, is ongoing, or is about to occur. The information provided must lead to a successful SEC action that results in monetary sanctions exceeding $1 million. One or more people can act as a whistleblower, but companies or organizations cannot qualify as whistleblowers. Furthermore, individuals are not required to be employees of a company to submit information about that company.

Different eligibility rules apply to:

  • officers, directors, trustees, or partners of an entity, if another person informed them of allegations of misconduct, or if they learned the information in connection with the entity’s processes for identifying, reporting, and addressing possible violations of law;

  • employees whose principal duties involve compliance or internal-audit responsibilities, or those employed by, or otherwise associated with, a firm retained to perform compliance or internal-audit functions for an entity;

  • those employed by, or otherwise associated with, a firm retained to conduct an inquiry or investigation into possible violations of law; and

  • employees of, and other persons associated with, a public accounting firm, if they obtained the information through the performance of an engagement required of an independent public accountant under the federal securities laws, and that information related to a violation by the engagement client or the client’s directors, officers, or other employees.

Any of those individuals may be eligible for an SEC whistleblower award if:

  • his or her disclosure is necessary to prevent conduct that is likely to cause substantial injury to the financial interest or property of the entity or investors;

  • the entity is engaging in conduct that will impede an investigation of the misconduct; or

  • at least 120 days have elapsed since either:

  • the whistleblower provided the information to the entity’s audit committee, chief legal officer, or chief compliance officer (or their equivalents), or to his or her supervisor; or

  • the whistleblower received the information, if he or she received it under circumstances indicating that the entity’s audit committee, chief legal officer, or chief compliance officer (or their equivalents), or the whistleblower’s supervisor was already aware of the information.

To learn more about the SEC Whistleblower Program, download the eBook SEC Whistleblower Program: Tips from SEC Whistleblower Attorneys to Maximize an SEC Whistleblower Award.

Chapter 1 - What is the SEC Whistleblower Program?

Chapter 2 - Can I Submit Anonymous Tip to SEC Whistleblower Office?

Chapter 3 - What Employment Protections are Available for SEC Whistleblowers?

Chapter 4- What Violations Qualify For A SEC Whistleblower Award?

Chapter 5- What are the largest SEC whistleblower awards?

Chapter 7- Can I submit a tip to the SEC Whistleblower Office if I was involved in the fraud or misconduct?

Chapter 8- Can I Submit A Tip to the SEC Whistleblower Office if I Agreed to a Confidentiality Provision in an Employment/Severance Agreement?

Chapter 9- Compliance Personnel, Auditors, Officers and Directors Can Obtain SEC Whistleblower Awards

Chapter 10 - When is Best Time to Report Fraud or Misconduct to SEC?

Chapter 11 - Do I Have To Report The Violation To My Company Before Reporting It To The SEC Whistleblower Office?

 

© 2022 Zuckerman LawNational Law Review, Volume VII, Number 198
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About this Author

Jason Zuckerman Whistleblower Attorney Washington DC
Principal

Described by the National Law Journal as a “leading whistleblower attorney,” Jason Zuckerman litigates whistleblower retaliation, whistleblower rewards, wrongful discharge, and other employment-related claims. His practice focuses on representing senior executives and senior professionals in high-stakes whistleblower retaliation cases, including SOX retaliation claims, and representing whistleblowers before the SEC,...

(202) 262-8959
Matthew Stock, CPA, Auditor, Zuckerman Law Firm
Certified Public Accountant

Matthew Stock is the Director of the Whistleblower Rewards Practice at Zuckerman Law. He is an attorney, Certified Public Accountant, Certified Fraud Examiner and former KPMG external auditor. Mr. Stock has audited a broad range of industries, both domestically and internationally, including large public companies and financial institutions. As an auditor, Mr. Stock developed an expertise in financial statement analysis and fraud recognition.

At Zuckerman Law, Mr. Stock leverages his experience as an attorney, CPA, CFE and external auditor to...

202-930-5901
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