Will the SEC Investigate Every Tip it Gets?

It’s unfortunate, but you might come to work one day, only to realize that your employer might be engaging in some shady business. Whether it’s a backroom business deal, fraud, bribery, or money laundering, your boss is up to something, and you don’t want to get caught up in the lawsuits and penalties.

So, you might be thinking about turning to the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, with your tip. You’ll do the right thing, get the protection you need, and possibly receive a significant award for your actions.

But, what types of tips will the SEC take? Before you send in your tip, make sure that your tip is strong enough to be investigated.  

Evidence is Necessary

Before you begin, you and your SEC whistleblower attorney will need to assess the situation and make a detailed case. Without the full information about your case, the SEC may not have the information they need to investigate.

Every year, the SEC receives thousands of tips from employees or investors like you. Often, they must choose which cases are most important or urgent, and that may depend on what they have to work with. For example, someone who leaves a tip that only covers what they believe their employer did won’t be so useful.

Instead, the SEC needs details. You and your lawyer will review your tip before you send it in and make sure it includes all necessary information you need to succeed. For example, you may need evidence like suspicious paperwork, photographs, and other information.

Often, this means your tip might be several pages long, often stretching over one hundred pages. If it does, great—that means more chances that you have unique details that the SEC needs. The more information you have, the more likely it is that they’ll catch the responsible party.  

Seek Original Information

A useful tip is one that the SEC doesn’t already know about. You might already know that the company is being investigated, so you gave them the information you had about the situation. Unfortunately, because you’re not so close to the situation, you’re unable to give them useful information.

When preparing a whistleblower tip, you’ll need information that they wouldn’t be able to find otherwise. Inside information is key to stopping fraud and unethical actions. So, you’ll need to prepare your tip and make sure your information is new.

For example, even if they’re already investigating, you might have information they need. You’re close to the situation, and you have information that the public doesn’t know. Because the SEC doesn’t have access to this information, your tip can be used to further push the case forward and bring the people responsible to justice.

Getting a Strong Tip

It’s tough to know that your company is engaging in some dangerous or unethical business deals. Not only are you possibly implicated, but you’re not sure if your tip is strong enough to help. You want to help and get the award you deserve, but how do you get your tip investigated?

If you’re not certain how to get a tip that the SEC will investigate, talk to your lawyer about your options. They’ll review your tip and what you’ll need to get it investigated. A solid tip can change an investigation, so when you have something to share, speak up with the help of an attorney.