Overview of the Dodd-Frank Act’s whistleblower provisions
The Dodd-Frank Act, formally known as the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, is a major US financial regulatory law that created whistleblower reward programs at the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
Phillips & Cohen LLP has won nine awards for clients under Dodd-Frank whistleblower reward programs — more than any other law firm. That includes an SEC whistleblower award of more than $32 million, which is one of the largest made so far.
The SEC and CFTC whistleblower programs are in keeping with the goals of Dodd-Frank to provide stronger enforcement of corporate accountability, compliance and transparency.
Congress enacted Dodd-Frank in 2010 as part of an ambitious effort to reform the nation’s financial regulatory systems following the financial crisis of 2008. The Dodd-Frank whistleblower programs incentivize individuals to blow the whistle on violations of federal securities law or commodity law by offering whistleblowers substantial financial rewards, protection from job retaliation and confidentiality.
Watch a discussion of the impact and success of the SEC and CFTC whistleblower programs featuring Phillips & Cohen partners Erika Kelton and Sean McKessy, who was a key architect of the SEC whistleblower program.
Rewards and protections under the Dodd-Frank Act
Under the Dodd-Frank Act, whistleblowers who provide information to the SEC or CFTC that leads to monetary sanctions exceeding $1 million are entitled to rewards of 10 percent to 30 percent of the amount collected by the government.
The law contains other important benefits for SEC and CFTC whistleblowers. If they are retaliated against by an employer for blowing the whistle or assisting the agencies in an investigation, they can sue and get twice the amount of back pay owed, reinstatement and compensation for litigation costs.
Dodd-Frank also requires the SEC and CFTC to keep whistleblowers’ identities confidential to the extent allowed by the law. Whistleblowers can even file their claims with the SEC and CFTC anonymously, if they do so through an attorney.
The SEC and CFTC have separate regulations and procedures for their whistleblower programs. To read the text of the Dodd-Frank Act as it pertains to whistleblowers and the SEC and CFTC rules for their respective programs, see the SEC whistleblower provisions in Dodd-Frank and the CFTC whistleblower provisions in the Dodd-Frank Act.
Becoming a whistleblower under the Dodd-Frank Act
The SEC and CFTC have limited resources to investigate the thousands of claims submitted to Dodd-Frank whistleblower programs each year. Working with a lawyer experienced with SEC and CFTC whistleblower claims can help you get government attention to your case and secure a whistleblower reward if enforcement sanctions are levied.
Phillips & Cohen’s seasoned team of whistleblower attorneys includes the founding Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower and federal litigators. We know how to analyze whistleblower claims, put together the strongest case possible to convince regulators to investigate and work with the SEC and CFTC when that is beneficial for the case.
We have won more than $1 billion in whistleblower rewards for our clients.
If you have information about violations of federal securities law or commodity law and are considering blowing the whistle, get in touch for a free, confidential consultation.