The Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) has been granting a record number of awards to whistleblowers alerting the authorities to securities fraud. To sweeten the deal, the awards (especially lately) tend to be in the tens of millions, and they’re only going to increase along with the amount of recovered monetary sanctions. This provides other whistleblowers with an incentive to do the same, but the problem is that not everyone is familiar with what constitutes securities fraud or how to go about reporting it when they see it.
As it turns out, the answers are in the footnotes. The clearest guidance on the facts and rules of securities fraud are to be found in the SEC’s footnotes of orders it has written for whistleblowers who have filed a claim for an award. Of course, going through all those footnotes is a considerable undertaking, so we’ve compiled the highlights for you into 4 articles, of which this is the first.
Although the SEC often makes its orders granting and denying requests for awards public, most of the text is heavily redacted, leaving the footnotes as the most valuable evidence of their process for determining who gets and award and how much. Continue reading ›