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When is Best Time to Report Fraud or Misconduct to SEC? - Chapter 10
Monday, July 31, 2017

In most cases, whistleblowers should report fraud or misconduct to the SEC as soon as possible. While some situations require a whistleblower to wait 120 days before providing information to the SEC, most whistleblowers should raise concerns immediately. There are a few reasons for this:

  1. To be eligible for an award, a whistleblower must provide the SEC with “original information”—i.e., information not already known to the SEC. If someone reports another individual’s information to the SEC first, the latter will not be entitled to a percentage of any monetary sanctions collected.
  2. Even if a whistleblower is the first to report the information, the SEC considers the timeliness of information to be a significant factor when determining the size of an award. Many whistleblowers wait too long to report to the SEC and so receive substantially reduced awards. About 20% of the awards issued through 2015 were reduced because of an unreasonable reporting delay.
  3. As a practical matter, the SEC is more likely to act on timely information. The SEC receives a significant number of tips and has limited resources. The best claims reveal fraud that the SEC can halt and whose impact the SEC can potentially minimize. The SEC will probably not act on tips about speculative fraud that occurred years ago.

As such, whistleblowers should hire a law firm that can quickly: (1) assess the claim; (2) draft a compelling tip, complaint, or referral (“TCR”); and (3) file with the SEC.

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 6- Who Is An Eligible SEC Whistleblower?

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


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