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SEC reports 2015 whistleblower results: 4,000 tips from every state and 61 foreign countries

The SEC Office of the Whistleblower has just released its annual report to Congress, revealing the program’s growth and providing powerful evidence that we are truly living in the age of the whistleblower.

This year, the SEC received a record number of tips — nearly 4,000 an increase of more than 8% from fiscal year 2014 and over 20% compared to fiscal year 2013. 

Tips came in from every state and Washington, DC, as well as 61 foreign countries, including a significant number of submissions from the UK, Canada, China, India and Australia.

The SEC awarded over $37 million in whistleblower awards in fiscal 2015 and at the close of the year, the Investor Protection Fund had a remarkable balance of over $400 million.   

The report also highlighted many recent accomplishments, including a case where our firm represented the whistleblower, in which the agency issued the maximum award in the SEC’s first retaliation case

This year also witnessed a landmark action against a company for the use of confidentiality agreements to impede communication between whistleblowers and the SEC.  

As longtime advocates for whistleblowers, we are encouraged by the impact of the program. There is still much work to do, but these results offer cause for optimism in our ongoing quest to reestablish a culture of integrity within the financial services industry.


Jordan A. Thomas is the Chair of the Whistleblower Representation Practice at Labaton Sucharow. He served as an assistant director and, previously, as an assistant chief litigation counsel in the Division of Enforcement at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. He had a leadership role in the development of the SEC Whistleblower Program. Follow him on Twitter at @SECReporter.

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  1. In my view, encouraging whistleblowers is a good first step, but without the governments providing sufficient funding for the authorities to follow up on these leads, it is merely a political salve to the wound.

    In Canada, the RCMP are severely underfunded, so in reality cannot follow up on leads from whistleblowers. It is counterproductive to promote whistleblowing without having the ability to act on them. I think more focus needs to be placed on funding of the authorities for this reason.

  2. I agree with Alan Franklin's point. Additionally, prosecution times need to be shortened. Potential whistleblowers may be dissuaded from acting if the proceedings take years. It stands to reason that a case stemming from an internal source would be prosecuted and resolved faster. However, 4 years after the law was passed, for all the noise about rewards having been paid, very few relate to FCPA.

  3. Are these only FCPA tips? What about Dodd-Frank ones?

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