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Whistleblower

The SEC’s Final Rules for the program were effective as of August 12, 2011. Through the end of Fiscal Year 2013, the SEC received 6,573 tips through the Whistleblower Program and had granted 6 awards. See 2013 Annual Report to Congress on the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program http://www.sec.gov/about/offices/owb/annual-report-2013.pdf. The relevant information for Fiscal Year 2014 should be available in November.

Unless the SEC increases its rate of whistleblower awards substantially, the Whistleblower Program is likely to become less attractive to potential whistleblowers. With odds of receiving an award so low (0.09%), it is questionable whether a potential employee tipster might decide not to take the time, effort, and risk to submit a tip to the SEC at all. Attorneys may correctly advise potential tipsters that there is a low likelihood that they will be rewarded for their information. If that happens, there will be less tips leading to even less awards, and, potentially leading to a slow death to what could have been an important enforcement tool.