June 29, 2012

Business is Booming at the SEC Whistleblower Office as Tips Continue to Flood In

By Jason Enzler

The SEC’s Whistleblower Office is busy these days as tips continue to stream into the agency.  Thomas Sporkin, the chief of the SEC’s Office of Market Intelligence, the unit that assesses the credibility of these tips, recently stated that the agency is receiving an average of seven tips per day, with about 2 or 3 of them meriting investigation.  Many of these tips are coming from senior executives and managers.  With this robust activity, it is only to be expected that the Whistleblower Office will need to grow, something that the Deputy Chief of the Whistleblower Office, Jane Norberg, recently indicated is in the cards.  Currently, the Office is staffed by Chief Sean McKessy, Deputy Chief Norberg, four attorneys, and two paralegals.

It should also come as no surprise that, with all of these tips pouring in, there are currently scores of cases eligible for whistleblower rewards.  As of June 4, roughly 60 cases in 2012, alone, were eligible for whistleblowers to submit claims for monetary rewards.  Although the program is less than one year old and no rewards have yet been made, given these numbers, it is only a matter of time before the SEC starts paying out from the $452 million it has earmarked to compensate whistleblowers.  And once the awards start rolling out, it will no doubt contribute to an even greater onslaught of whistleblower activity, just as the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act was designed to accomplish.

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