securities whistleblower
Brokers, Compliance, Whistleblower

Whistleblowers Need Lawyers

Realizing the importance of the assistance and information from an insider of a company, the SEC established its whistleblower program.

The program has demonstrated that information from someone who knows of possible securities law violations can be a powerful tool for the Commission.  Whistleblowers can help the Commission identify possible fraud and other violations much earlier than might otherwise have been possible. That allows the Commission to minimize the harm to investors, better preserve the integrity of the capital markets, and more swiftly hold accountable those responsible for unlawful conduct.

The Commission is authorized by Congress to provide monetary awards to eligible individuals who come forward with high-quality original information that leads to a Commission enforcement action in which over $1,000,000 in sanctions is ordered. The range for awards is between 10% and 30% of the money collected.

Many potential whistleblowers have found that the process is not quite as easy as it appears. The SEC routinely takes years to pay a whistleblower, and often denies whistleblower claims. The importance of a well crafted whistleblower tip cannot be overstated. 

There have been many developments in securities whistleblower rulings over the years, but none as compelling as Justice Ginsburg’s opinion in Digital Realty Trust, Inc., vs. Somers which held that an employee who merely reports potential securities law violations internally has not done enough to avail himself of the extensive Dodd-Frank anti-retaliation protections, including “the immediate access to federal court, a generous statute of limitations (at least six years), and the opportunity to recover double backpay.”

In other words, reporting the violation to your boss, your manager, or HR is not enough, you need to report to the SEC.

This is where our law firm can help. Our attorneys include former SEC attorneys and broker-dealer lawyers, who know their way around these rules and regulations. We help whistleblowers present their information to the SEC and guide them through the process, including presentations to the Commission, at no cost unless there is compensation to our client.

Our fee is contingent – it is a percentage of what our client receives, and if the client receives nothing our fee is zero.

If you believe you have a whistleblower claim, give us a call at 212-509-6544, or email Mark Astarita at


Mark J. Astarita, Esq. is a securities lawyer who represents investors, financial professionals and firms in litigation, arbitration and regulatory matters across the country. He is a partner in the national securities law firm of Sallah Astarita & Cox, LLC and can be reached by email at or by phone at 212-509-6544.

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The Securities Lawyer