In only three years, the Dodd-Frank whistleblower program, which promises cash rewards for those whose tips lead to a successful investigation by the SEC, has yielded more than 6,500 tips according to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal. Though traditionally thought of as insiders, tipsters do not just come from only inside the companies targeted. Rather, whistleblowers are coming forward from all walks of life, including investors and retirees, in addition to insiders and the family of insiders according to the article.
The rate at which individuals are submitting tips also seems to be rising. As a firm that represents whistleblowers, Malecki Law has also seen a growth in calls from prospective whistleblowers seeking legal counsel to file a tip with the SEC. Just recently Jenice Malecki, Esq. was interviewed by Rob Lenihan of Thomson Reuters: “‘I can tell you that whistleblowers as potential clients have increased over the last year — substantially,’ Malecki said. ‘There’s definitely an increase, and everybody who is somehow involved in the securities industry either as a customer or otherwise feels like they have some information they could tip on.'”
Although some individuals may have initially been reluctant to come forward for fear of retaliation, a recent push to protect the rights of whistleblowers has helped to alleviate many of those concerns. Such a positive development coupled with the mechanisms in place that allows whistleblowers to report securities laws violations anonymously has allowed tipsters to come forward without unnecessary fear of retribution.
In addition to ensuring that the rules are followed and that rule-breakers are held accountable, whistleblowers would appear to have more good reason to come forward. Even though $15 million has already been awarded to whistleblowers, it would appear that this is just the tip of the ice berg. Mr. Sean McKessey, head of the SEC’s whistleblower program, was quoted by the Wall Street Journal as saying that the numbers will soon grow and that a “‘critical mass’ of tips will soon yield more investigations, fines and bounties.” According to Mr. McKessey, “we’re getting close to the sweet spot.” This would mean more money for whistleblowers.
If you believe you may have valuable information and are thinking about blowing the whistle, contact an attorney at Malecki Law for a free consultation. The attorneys at Malecki Law have experience representing whistleblowers, and can help you file your whistleblower complaint with the appropriate agency to maximize your chances at getting the reward to which you may be entitled.