Whistleblower 101: Receiving Your Monetary Award
As a whistleblower, the possibility of a monetary award can be a great source of strength and perseverance. However, not every case can result in an award.
Before deciding whether to blow the whistle, it is important to understand the conditions under which your award will be distributed after the results of the case.
3 Factors of Whistleblower Award Eligibility
Before you can receive a monetary award, it must be determined that you are qualified as an eligible whistleblower. Here are three determining factors:
- Original Information. In order to be eligible for an award after the conclusion of your case, you must be able to provide original information to the SEC regarding your case. These details must be independently known, or involve more extensive insight into information that is already public.
- Voluntary Actions. All information must be provided on a voluntary basis. This means that the whistleblower must come forward with details of fraud before it is requested from them for a current investigation by authorities.
- From Information to Success. Eligible whistleblowers will receive a monetary award only if the information they provided leads to a successful investigation – whether it was previously new or ongoing.
It is important to note that the SEC must collect a minimum of 1 million dollars in sanctions as a result of the case for the whistleblower to receive a portion of the award.
The Varying Levels of Whistleblower Awards
As part of the SEC whistleblower program, participants can be awarded between 10%-30% of the sanctions collected in the results of the investigation. Here is how that percentage is determined:
Factors That Increase Award Percentage
- Providing details of extreme importance to the case
- Offering considerate assistance throughout the process of the investigation
- Participation in the internal compliance program of your company – if applicable
Factors That Decrease Award Percentage
- Delaying the initial report of fraud to the SEC
- Participation in your company’s securities law violations
- Interference with the internal compliance program of your company
Your monetary award percentage will be determined using these factors, and then calculated using the specific amount of sanctions collected in the investigation. For example, if the investigation resulted in the collection of $10 million in sanctions, and you were awarded 30%, you would receive $3 million.
Increasing Your Odds Of Receiving A Whistleblower Award
Not all whistleblower cases result in a monetary award. Hiring an attorney with the right experience and knowledge in whistleblower cases will help increase your chances of a successful case. Your whistleblower attorney will expertly prepare your case, gather the right information, and file your claim to the appropriate program. Click here to learn more about finding legal counsel.