Do you suspect your employer is violating Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) laws? If so, read on for more information about the most common forms of SEC violations and how an experienced SEC whistleblower lawyer can help you report the violation.
Common forms of SEC violations
According to the Commission, the most common SEC violations include:
- Misrepresentation or omission of important information about securities.
- Manipulation of the market prices of securities.
- The sale of unregistered securities.
- Insider trading, which involves trading based on information that was not available to the public.
- Stealing the funds or securities of customers.
- Violating a broker-dealer’s responsibility to treat customers fairly.
The SEC’s Division of Enforcement works on hundreds of investigations each year, with many of these investigations originating from complaints or reports made by members of the public, including employees of the individual or entity accused of the violation. The investigations are civil in nature and do not result in incarceration. However, the division does seek monetary penalties for violations and may enforce other consequences. These consequences may prevent the individual who violated the law from continuing to work in the securities industry or serving as an officer or director of a public company. Additionally, any evidence of criminal activity can be passed on to the police.
SEC enforcement investigations are generally confidential to allow reporting individuals greater confidence in coming forward to share information that could potentially protect investors from financial harm.
What an attorney can do
An experienced SEC whistleblower lawyer can help employees who wish to report suspected SEC violations. They can explain the process by which these reports are filed and investigated. Your whistleblower lawyer can also help you learn more about federal programs that provide monetary compensation for reporting the violation. The compensation is a portion of the funds that are recovered as a result of the investigation.
While whistleblowers can report violations confidentially, many individuals are afraid of their employer finding out that the report came from them. An attorney also has a deep understanding of the federal protections that are in place for employee whistleblowers and can use that understanding to protect you from employer retaliation after you file your report, including demotion, discharge, suspension, harassment and any other form of retaliatory discrimination.