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L-R Kaitlin Meola, Jay Dubow and Robert Hickok, Troutman Pepper. Courtesy Photos L-R Kaitlin Meola, Jay Dubow and Robert Hickok, Troutman Pepper. Courtesy Photos

After nearly a decade in operation, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC or commission) voted to amend the rules governing its whistleblower program, which Congress created in 2010 to assist the SEC in discovering and prosecuting securities law violations by providing “monetary incentives for individuals to come forward and report possible violations of the federal securities laws to the SEC.” The program seeks to accomplish this goal by providing potentially significant monetary awards in exchange for information regarding securities violations and offering protection to whistleblowers from adverse employment action for providing such information.

The impact and success of the program is clear. Since the program’s inception, the SEC has awarded more than $700 million to whistleblowers. The awards can be significant—the top-10 awards range from $22 million to $114 million, with the largest to date awarded in October 2020. The amendments to the program’s awards structure, as discussed below, will likely provide for even greater awards.

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