Whistle-blowers will file new forms for bounties

By Amanda Becker
Monday, November 22, 2010

Paper Trail takes a periodic look at documents of interest to the business community. This week, we focus on drafts of new federal forms for blowing the whistle on securities fraud or other wrongdoing.

Under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, anyone who provides the Securities and Exchange Commission with a successful tip stands to receive from 10 percent to 30 percent of any monetary sanctions exceeding $1 million. To claim your bounty, however, you will have to complete some paperwork.

The official form for declaring your whistle-blower status will go by the rather unglamorous title of WB-DEC. If a tip leads to a successful enforcement action, a whistle-blower would need to file a second, nearly identical WB-APP form within 60 days of the SEC's online announcement in order to claim the bounty.

Although the reporting form asks for the whistle-blower's personal information, informants can remain anonymous in the initial stages of the process if they retain legal representation, in which case they submit the information of their attorney in Section B.

The SEC plans to set up an electronic data collection system to allow informants to report fraudulent activity online. That system will automatically generate what the agency is calling a TCR number -- for tip, complaint or referral.

Certain groups of people, such as those who work for regulatory agencies and individuals who are implicated in the matter they reported, are ineligible to receive any whistle-blower bounty.

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