Phillips & Associates

SEC Bounty Program

New York City Attorneys Assisting Employees in Reporting SEC Violations

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) runs an SEC bounty program that was established to incentivize employee reporting of securities law violations under the Dodd-Frank Act and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. The program allows qualifying whistleblowers to recover 10-30% of the sanctions after a successful SEC enforcement action. As a result of the SEC bounty program, there has been an increase in tips related to fraud at public companies. If you are interested in providing a tip about your employer through the SEC bounty program, it may be wise to consult the New York City whistleblower lawyers at Phillips & Associates.

Awards Under the SEC Bounty Program

The SEC greatly benefits from getting information and assistance from whistleblowers who know of and report possible securities law violations. Whistleblowers help the SEC identify fraud and other violations earlier than they might otherwise come to light. This early knowledge allows the harm to investors to be minimal. It can also allow the SEC to more quickly hold accountable those responsible for illegal behavior.

The SEC has the authority to give monetary awards to whistleblowers who give them high-quality original information that leads to a successful enforcement action that results in more than $1 million in sanctions. The award will be 10-30% of the monetary sanctions.

The SEC was given limited authority to give awards to whistleblowers in connection with insider trading more than two decades ago. However, the SEC bounty program was expanded by the Dodd-Frank Act. Section 922 of Dodd-Frank amended the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The amendment allows for the Whistleblower Bounty Program. The SEC is obliged under Dodd-Frank to pay an award of 10-30% of the monetary sanctions collected in an enforcement action to someone who voluntarily gives original information to the SEC that is derived from the whistleblower's independent analysis or knowledge. If someone else gives information to the SEC, the whistleblower can still be eligible if the whistleblower is the original source of the information.

Whistleblowers need to come forward voluntarily. In other words, you need to provide the original information before the SEC asks for information related to that information and before any similar requests are made by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, a state Attorney General, or another authority of the federal government. Moreover, the original information cannot be known to the SEC from another source except when you are the original source of the information. This information cannot be exclusively derived from a claim made in an administrative or judicial proceeding. Moreover, your submission needs to lead to a successful SEC administrative or judicial action resulting in monetary sanctions of over $1 million.

To determine how much the bounty should be, the SEC is supposed to look at how significant the information given by the whistleblower was and how much help was provided. It is also supposed to consider the interest of the SEC in deterring securities violations.

Retaliation Protections

Moreover, obtaining a bounty comes with protection from retaliation by an employer. Under Dodd-Frank, employers cannot terminate you, demote you, threaten you, harass you, or suspend you based on a legal action taken by you, such as helping the SEC in an enforcement action or making disclosures mandated by federal securities laws. If you successfully prove retaliation, you will be entitled to back pay, reinstatement, and other remedies. Under Dodd-Frank, as interpreted by the Supreme Court, you must disclose the original information to the SEC to recover a bounty.

Seek Guidance from a Skillful Whistleblower Lawyer in New York City

If you are considering disclosing information about misconduct in a New York City workplace to the SEC, you should contact an attorney who has handled these claims and can advise you on the steps to take. You can contact Phillips & Associates at (212) 248-7431 or through our online form for a free consultation. We handle employment litigation in the boroughs of the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, and Manhattan; the counties of Westchester, Nassau, and Suffolk; as well as New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania.

PHILLIPS & ASSOCIATES
45 Broadway, #620,
New York NY, 10006
Tel: 212-248-7431
Fax: 212-901-2107

Client Reviews
★★★★★
I called at Phillips & Associates seeking for a consultation and I was very pleased with the conversation I had with Eugenio Benvenuto. He was able to answer my questions thoroughly and gave me reassurance. I highly recommend their practice. Giulia
★★★★★
Hands down the best law firm for labor disputes in NYC. Being in the restaurant industry for more than 30 years I can say that this law firm is the number one choice for workers in the restaurant business that need to sue their company for wrongful termination. A special compliment to my lawyer Brittany Stevens. An amazing person and well prepared experienced lawyer. She was professional and empathetic to my case and worked in a time appropriate manner. She never miss a phone call at any hour of the day.The other associates that assisted Brittany were Yusha Hiraman, Eugenio Benvenuto and Katerina Housos. They were all professional and answered any questions or concerns that I had. Brittany and her team helped me with what I needed, when I needed it. I want to thank them all (especially Brittany), for a job well done. Massimo
★★★★★
Jesse Weinstein handled my discrimination case. He was extremely patient and understanding throughout the process and remained professional and consistent even when I could not. I really felt like he had my back and I didn't have to worry. His expertise, combined with the experience of the Firm, resulted in the best possible outcome of my case. Although I wouldn't wish what I went through on anyone, things do and always will happen and I would highly recommend Jesse and this Firm to anyone facing discrimination or other workplace issues. Karen
★★★★★
I highly recommend Parisis (Gerry) Fillippatos with Phillips & Associates to represent you for employment related matters. He and his team were professional, attentive to every detail and brilliant at identifying the legal grounds to win the case. Parisis's communication and delivery were highly articulate and precise. He is personable and makes you feel comfortable in the maze of legal jargon. Finally, his confidence, perseverance and masterful negotiation skills deliver the win. Anonymous
★★★★★
I had an excellent experience with this team! Thanks, Marjorie, Brittany, and Candy for your great support and prompt answers to all my questions. I highly recommend this firm. This team works very hard and I am extremely happy with the results. Ana