The Small Firm for Big Cases

SEC Whistleblower Claims

In the wake of Great Recession, Congress increased federal oversight on the financial industry by enacting the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The Dodd-Frank Act included a directive that led to the creation of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Whistleblower Program, which provides monetary incentives and protection from retaliation for individuals who report securities violations.

How Can Federal Securities Laws be Violated?

Common examples of securities fraud include:

  • Ponzi schemes, pyramid schemes or high-yield investment programs
  • Theft or misappropriation of funds or securities
  • Manipulation of a security’s price or volume
  • Insider trading
  • Fraudulent or unregistered securities offerings
  • False or misleading statements about a company (including false or misleading SEC reports or financial statements)
  • Abusive naked short-selling
  • Bribery of or improper payments to foreign officials
  • Fraudulent conduct associated with municipal securities transactions or public pension plans

The SEC Whistleblower Program provides a financial incentive to individuals reporting significant securities-fraud schemes.

  • Though the SEC has agents, accountants, and lawyers whose job is to uncover fraud and violations of the securities laws, there is more unlawful conduct than they can track
  • That is why the SEC provides private citizens with financial incentives to report significant cases of securities fraud to the government
  • The SEC has the authority to award a whistleblower from 10 percent to 30 percent of what the agency collects. In a case where an agency issues an award to multiple whistleblowers in the same action, it cannot award the whistleblowers a total award of less than 10 percent or more than a total of 30 percent of the sanctions imposed
  • Even when extensive credible evidence is presented, the SEC conducts an extensive investigatory process and engages in multiple levels of review – which means that award decisions often take several years or longer

What Are Tip Submission Requirements?

Though such individuals are often employees of the companies about which they are submitting information, an employment relationship is not required to submit a successful tip.

To submit a successful tip under the SEC Whistleblower Program:

  • An individual must voluntarily provide original information about a 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 resulting in an order of monetary sanctions over $1 million.

At Youman & Caputo, we are highly selective about the SEC Whistleblower cases that we accept.

We generally will not handle an SEC Whistleblower claim unless the securities law violations at issue are likely to a government recovery of at least $10 million.

We then invest significant time and resources in those cases that we accept to maximize the chance of obtaining an award for our client.

This allows our whistleblower attorneys to focus on your case and provide you with the dedicated attention you deserve.

Call Youman & Caputo today for a free SEC Whistleblower case consultation.

If you are aware of such conduct and want to learn more about the SEC whistleblower claims and how we can help you obtain an award for exposing securities fraud, please contact us to schedule a free consultation. Learn more about our team of whistleblower attorneys by clicking here.