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Date Published: 02/24/2021

The SEC’s Whistleblower Program in 2021 and Beyond

The Securities and Exchange Commission’s Whistleblower Program was created in 2010 to assist the SEC in discovering securities law violations by providing incentives for individuals to report possible violations. The Program has been successful; to date, the SEC has received tens of thousands of whistleblower tips, resulting in more than $2 billion in monetary sanctions, and has awarded more than $700 million to whistleblowers whose tips resulted in enforcement actions. On September 23, 2020, the SEC voted to amend the Program’s rules in order “to provide greater clarity to whistleblowers and increase the program’s efficiency and transparency.” The amendments—effective December 7, 2020—include changes to the way the SEC determines awards, changes that streamline the process for submitting and evaluating tips, and clarifies various definitions. The changes may incentivize whistleblowers to report possible securities law violations, and companies should ensure that their internal whistleblower policies are current and provide adequate internal processes for investigating complaints and protecting whistleblowers from retaliation.

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