SEC Whistleblowers Should Come Forward

The Securities Exchange Commission has an extensive staff that works very hard at making sure the financial industry remains honest. For those who veer outside the law and try to cheat the system, the SEC — alone with the Justice Department — steps in to take corrective matters. Both individuals and large companies have been levied with massive fines for illegal activities. Fines have even reached the millions of dollars. And then there are those whose actions were so egregious they landed in prison.

The SEC, no matter how much is budgeted for staffing and resources, is going to be limited in its actions. SEC agents cannot be everywhere. The agents are not capable of learning about activities that occur in private. Even if suspicions exist, deliberate actions are impossible to take without compelling evidence.

To help gather evidence, the SEC relies on whistleblowers in scores of different situations. A whistleblower can do a lot for the SEC. As a witness, the whistleblower could testify in court or in administrative proceedings. Whistleblowers may also be able to provide all-importance documentary evidence required for sufficient proof. And yes, a whistleblower could reveal activities the SEC totally knows nothing about. Again, the agency does rely heavily on whistleblowers to a great degree. Whistleblowers are the reliable insiders who play a necessary role in keeping the financial industry on the straight and narrow.

This is not to say people are automatically willing to come forward and speak publicly about wrongdoing. Whistleblowers are frequently quite fearful about what can happen to them if their identities are exposed. Retaliation is going to be the main concern of anyone who is contemplating coming forward. Lawmakers understand such a dilemma, which is why protections for whistleblowers were written into the landmark Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform legislation that emerged after the Great Recession.

Still, they may not even come forward even when the rewards to do so are generous. Yes, there are rewards for whistleblowing. Dodd-Frank stipulated it is possible to pay whistleblowers 10% to 30% of the recovered money.

Regardless, people still have fear. One way to overcome that fear is to simply procure the best legal representation available. No one should feel they have no legal options to explore when hoping to cast light on illicit financial activities. By hiring a whistleblower attorney, there is no reason to feel threatened. The attorney can help with every step of the process and, possibly, assist in procuring the deserved reward money.