Fortune cites Phillips & Cohen partner Erika Kelton about how recent rule changes to the SEC’s whistleblower program may affect whistleblowers.
New rules mean corporate whistleblowers can get even more money as a reward from the Securities and Exchange Commission, potentially millions more—and get it faster.
So now the SEC has established a default award at the top of the range: 30% of the amount collected, in cases where the resulting award would be $5 million or less. If there aren’t any “negative Award Factors”—for example, the whistleblower’s participation in the violation being reported—the Commission won’t spend time deciding the amount and will quickly pay out a 30% award. “The determinations have been mired in delay,” says Erika Kelton, a Washington-D.C.-based lawyer who represents whistleblowers. “This could really expedite things.”
But for the big money—if you don’t consider $5 million for an individual tipster big money—the Commission is tightening the rules. Until now, the amount of an award was based on two criteria: the significance of the information provided and the tipster’s continuing cooperation and assistance. Now the Commissioners will also consider the amount of the award itself, meaning they could reduce the amount if it just seems too big. “They’re changing the rules,” says Kelton. “That’s a big black box and a concern for our clients.”
Read the entire article, “Corporate whistleblowers can now collect more reward money,” on Fortune’s website.