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Most common whistle-blowing tips

By Sheyna Steiner · Bankrate.com
Monday, January 7, 2013
Posted: 6 am ET

The Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, released the 2012 report on the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program back in November. The program authorizes the SEC to reward whistle-blowers for information leading to million-dollar enforcement actions.

Last year saw the first payout from the program. In August, the SEC announced that a tip from a whistle-blower had resulted in the bust of a multimillion dollar fraud, netting the tipster about $50,000. Whistle-blower awards can range from 10 percent to 30 percent of the money collected as a result of their tips.

The SEC received over 3,000 tips last year. Most of the allegations, 18.2 percent, had to do with corporate disclosure and financials. The second-most common tips involved fraud related to unregistered companies, such as with Ponzi schemes in some cases.

As the program becomes more well-known, more individuals could step forward to report the financial misdeeds of corporations. "Just how substantive those tips are will become evident in 2013," Jaclyn Jaeger wrote this week in the story, "Whistleblowers to play a bigger role in enforcement in 2013," on the website ComplianceWeek.com.

"And when more awards paid to whistleblowers start making headlines, the volume of tips could grow even higher," the story says.

Not everyone likes whistle-blowers. Many face retaliation from co-workers and management, according to a 2012 survey by NAVEX Global, an ethics and compliance consultant. Certainly the most well-known whistle-blowers in recent history, Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange and Bradley Manning, the U.S. Army private accused of leaking State Department cables, enjoy somewhat dubious -- even treasonous in Manning's case -- reputations.

What do you think?

Follow me on Twitter: @SheynaSteiner.

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10 Comments
Sheyna Steiner
January 10, 2013 at 8:44 am

@Ben
Here's what the SEC says:

Please note that if you choose to submit your information anonymously, i.e., without providing your identity or contact information, you must be represented by, and provide contact information for, an attorney in connection with your submission in order to be eligible for an award.

BEN
January 10, 2013 at 7:48 am

When someone submits a case to the SEC.Is the poster anonymous
for their safety?

Janet
January 09, 2013 at 4:54 pm

WHISTLED ON THE WRONG HOCKEY-PITCH!

Janet
January 09, 2013 at 4:46 pm

As a part of an HR team in a major company, I reported to supervision to Headquarters 4 major violations of US laws in their HR. payroll and benefits practises.
My team leader suggested I submit each as a "Bright Idea" and was rewarded with a $25 reward.
After being in that department, after the last reward- Corporate closed the department and outsourced to ADP.
That was the year I was to retire, so I did not apply at ADP...
BUT my Social Security application came back that my employer had not paid into SS my last year.

THAT WAS THE LAST OF THE VIOLATIONS THAT I REPORTED TO CORPORATE BECAUSE OF THE CALLS I RECEIVED FROM RETIREES THAT SS REQUIRED THEY TAKE A CUT FOR THE FIRST YEAR OF RETIREMENT.

Was I a "whistle-Blower"?

Sheyna Steiner
January 09, 2013 at 3:13 pm

@Mel
You can go to the SEC website where they have instructions for submitting a tip online or via fax or mail. Here is a link to the submit a tip page on the website for the SEC's whistleblower department, http://www.sec.gov/about/offices/owb/owb-tips.shtml

Mel Brodsky
January 09, 2013 at 3:09 pm

How would I report a multi-billion company that is using deceptive practices that cost their customers millions of dollars

Sheyna Steiner
January 09, 2013 at 11:39 am

@ReallyCurious
The award is a percentage of the amount of the enforcement action. The award of "about $50,000" is 30 percent of the amount of money the SEC collected from the enforcement action against the perpetrators.

Really Curious
January 09, 2013 at 11:33 am

Why do stories like this say the whistle blower can get between 10 and 30 percent of the money collected from tipping off a fraud, then showing an example of a multi million dollar bust bust netting the tipster a miniscule $50,000?

cta
January 09, 2013 at 3:07 am

Me, yes you can! Get the online form and fill it out. You will need personal things like their SS# and birthdate and such.

me
January 09, 2013 at 1:11 am

Can I get a reward for supplying all info needed on a tax fraud case to IRS? this person claims residence in several states and gets paid 80% in cash (not claimed)