In the times of cybersociety and cybercrime, the way crimes and scams are exposed, investigated, and prosecuted is changing dramatically. Whistleblowers are becoming more and more important, providing the authorities with decisive insider information. In many cases, without whistleblowers, no exposure or prosecution would be possible at all. For the US regulator SEC, for example, whistleblowers are the cornerstone in the identification and investigation of violations of US securities laws and regulatory obligations. 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.
SEC Whistleblower Program
According to the SEC, whistleblower awards can range from 10 percent to 30 percent of the money collected when the monetary sanctions exceed $1 million. In April 2020 alone, the SEC paid out $52 million in whistleblowers awards:
- April 28: SEC Awards Over $18 Million to Whistleblower
- April 20: SEC Issues $5 Million Whistleblower Award
- April 16: SEC Awards Over $27 Million to Whistleblower
- April 3: SEC Awards Approximately $2 Million to Whistleblower
The SEC has awarded approximately $448 million to 81 individuals since issuing its first award in 2012. All payments are made out of an investor protection fund established by Congress that is financed entirely through monetary sanctions paid to the SEC by securities law violators. No money has been taken or withheld from harmed investors to pay whistleblower awards.
FinTelegram Whistleblower Program
Like the SEC, our FinTelegram Research Team lives from whistleblower information. We receive daily several information from former employees, partners, and victims of scams and cybercrime organizations. Most of them anonymous. We share much of this information with law enforcement agencies in various jurisdictions. We now have an overview of ongoing investigations in different countries. Increasingly, FinTelegram News and the European Funds Recovery Initiative (EFRI), which we co-founded, are being contacted by authorities and law enforcement with requests for additional information.
FinTelegram and EFRI are planning to set up a fund for the compensation of cybercrime victims but also for rewarding whistleblowers who contribute with their tips to education and fund recovery. The fund will be established with the support of authorities and partners and should be ready by the end of June 2020. More about this program soon! Stay tuned!