How To Submit An SEC Whistleblower Tip

Rules About How To Submit An SEC Whistleblower Tip

The SEC whistleblower rules define who can be considered as an SEC whistleblower, and the types of information that may make someone eligible for an SEC whistleblower award.  They also contain detailed information about how to submit an SEC whistleblower tip. SEC whistleblower tipAn individual must follow the rules for how to submit an SEC whistleblower tip in order to be eligible to receive an SEC whistleblower reward.  People who do not follow the rules properly may be barred from receiving SEC whistleblower awards later on.

Failure To Follow The Rules Regarding How To Submit An SEC Whistleblower Tip Can Result In Disqualification

The SEC whistleblower rules specifically state that to be eligible for an SEC whistleblower reward, a person “must submit original information to the Commission in accordance with the procedures and conditions” set forth in various sections of the rules.  (Rule 21F-2(a)(2).)  This includes submitting the information “in the form and manner that the Commission requires”.  (Rule 21F-8(a).) In addition, the SEC’s rules caution that “the failure to take certain required steps within the time frames described in these rules may disqualify you from receiving an award for which you otherwise may be eligible.”  (Rule 21F-1.)

General Procedures For How To Submit An SEC Whistleblower Tip

The SEC whistleblower rules describe two methods by which information must be submitted in order for someone “to be considered a whistleblower”.  (Rule 21F-9(a).) The first method is by submitting the information online through the SEC’s website. The second method is by mailing or faxing a Form Tip, Complaint or Referral (“Form TCR”) to the SEC Office of the Whistleblower. There is an additional step that must be taken for someone to be eligible for an SEC whistleblower award.  To be eligible for an SEC whistleblower reward, when someone submits their information to the SEC, they must declare under penalty of perjury that the information they are providing is true and correct to the best of their knowledge and belief.

Rules About How To Submit An SEC Whistleblower Tip Anonymously

“Anonymity” and “confidentiality” mean different things in the context of the SEC whistleblower program.  For a brief explanation of those differences, see here. To submit information anonymously to the SEC, a whistleblower must be represented by an SEC whistleblower lawyer.  An anonymous whistleblower must provide the SEC with the name and contact information of his or her SEC whistleblower attorney when they submit the whistleblower’s information to the SEC.  (Rule 21F-7(b)(1).) Furthermore, the SEC’s rules contain additional procedures for submitting information anonymously that both the whistleblower and his or her SEC whistleblower lawyer must follow. Because of these rules, someone who wants to file anonymously with the SEC should consider consulting with an experienced SEC whistleblower lawyer at a reputable SEC whistleblower law firm.

Post-Submission Requirements Under The SEC Whistleblower Rules

The SEC’s rules empower the Commission to require that a whistleblower provide additional information or assistance after they submit their SEC whistleblower tip. For example, an SEC whistleblower may be required to provide explanations and assistance to enable the SEC Staff to evaluate and use the information that the whistleblower submitted.  The SEC can also require a whistleblower to provide “all” additional information in their possession related to their tip.  (Rule 21F-8(b)(2).)  These things may involve follow-up telephone calls or meetings between the whistleblower and the SEC Staff. If the SEC desires it, a whistleblower can be required to enter into a confidentiality agreement with the Commission covering any non-public information that the SEC provides to the whistleblower.  Failing to execute such an agreement, or violating that agreement, may disqualify someone from receiving an SEC whistleblower award. In addition, the SEC can require a whistleblower to provide testimony or evidence showing that he or she is eligible to receive an SEC whistleblower reward.

Additional Information

For more information about the rules for how to submit an SEC whistleblower tip, click on the links below:  

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