Rule 8: Securities and Commodities Fraud

Key Rules for Filing a Whistleblower Claim with the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC)

Whistleblowing Under the SEC Office of the Whistleblower

Securities Exchange Act Statutes and Regulations 

Commodity Exchange Statutes and Regulations 

The SEC Whistleblower Rewards Rulemaking

On June 29, 2018, the SEC proposed new rules for the whistleblower program. Whistleblower advocates have condemned these rules. Read the new Proposed Rule.

Visit the SEC’s website regarding the new rule.

Kohn, Kohn and Colapinto filed detailed rulemaking comments on the proposed Dodd-Frank Act whistleblower reward program.

Stephen M. Kohn, Michael D. Kohn acting pro bono on behalf of the National Whistleblower Center Meeting Notes with the SEC Commissioners.

Proposed Amendments to the Dodd Frank Act

Read the 2019 Whistleblower Programs Improvement Act, which includes significant improvements to the whistleblower reward and anti-retaliation provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act.

SEC Ruling Proceedings

Rulemaking Comments by Stephen M. Kohn

These fully rebutted the Chamber of Commerce’s assault on the Dodd-Frank and were heavily relied upon by the Commissioners for the final SEC Whistleblower Rules.

  • NWC Report to the SEC: “Impact of Qui Tam Laws on Internal Compliance” 
  • November 1, 2010 – Letter to SEC opposing corporate lobby position, including comments from Baker Donelson and Arent Fox.
  • November 22, 2010 – Letter to Chairman Schapiro explaining that Proposed Rules violate Congressional intent.
  • December 17, 2010 – Formal rulemaking letter with report entitled “Impact of Qui Tam Rules on Internal Compliance”.
  • December 18, 2010 – Updated “Impact of Qui Tam Rules on Internal Compliance” with corrected links.
  • January 25, 2011 – Materials for NWC’s meeting with SEC Division of Enforcement: Letter to Chairman Schapiro appling Chevron to Proposed Rules, marked-up version of Proposed Rules, updated NWC reported “Impact of Qui TamRules on Internal Compliance”, 10 C.F.R. 50.7 marked-up, Federal Acquisition Regulations, and 48 C.F.R. 52.203-13 marked-up.
  • February 10, 2011 – Letter to Commissioners explaining the proposed rules’ impact on the ability of US to enforce the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
  • March 7, 2011 – Letter to Chairman Schapiro responding to Chamber of Commerce’s incorrect attacks of the NWC’s December 17, 2010 report.
  • March 17, 2011 – Letter to SEC with provision-by-provision analysis of proposed rules with suggested revisions and justifications for revisions.
  • May 16, 2011 – Letter to Chairman Schapiro and Gensler regarding the impact of the first reported decision under the Dodd-Frank Act on the rulemaking process.

Comments by Commissioners introducing Final Rules

Comments by the Corporate Lobby

SEC/CFTC Rewards

CFTC Announces Approximately $7 Million Whistleblower Award

Provisions of Dodd-Frank directly related to Whistleblower Protection

  • Section 922 21F(a) qui tam for securities fraud: new qui tam rewards and incentives for whistleblowers who blow the whistle on securities violations 21F sub (H)(1) anti-retaliation provision for employees who file qui tam claims under securities law (H)(1)(A)(iii) anti-retaliation for employees who make disclosures under SOX, any violation of SEC art or who make protected disclosures under obstruction of justice act Claims filed in federal court – employees entitled to double back pay (B) statistical ratings organizations (Moody’s & Standard & Poor’s) now protected under SOX anti-retaliation provisions (C) SOX whistleblower protection act enhanced and amended to increase the statute of limitations, guarantee jury trials, and prohibit mandatory arbitration agreements.
  • Section 923 – Sarbanes-Oxley Act anti-retaliation Provisions.
  • Section 924 – SEC regulations to establish special whistleblower office and impose regulations enforcing whistleblower rules.
  • Section 929A – SOX anti-retaliation law is clarified to ensure subsidiaries of publicly traded companies are fully protected under the whistleblower protection law.
  • Section 1057 – New whistleblower protection for employees who make disclosures to the newly created consumer protection board.
  • Section 1079(c) – Amends the False Claims Act anti-retaliation law to provide for universal national 3 year statute of limitations to file wrongful discharge claims under the False Claims Act.

Government links

The SEC prohibits Non-Disclosure Agreements which prevent Whistleblowers from reporting to the Government

SEC Press Release (April 1, 2015)

SEC Enforcement Action (April 1, 2015)

Harry Barko’s Whistleblower Profile

Rewards for Compliance Officials

Key Cases

Digital Realty v. Somers

Updates and Blog Posts


The Securities and Exchange Commission’s Annual Reports on the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Protection Program

The table below shows the top ten awards paid by the Commission since the reward laws were approved.

Additional Materials

Legislative History

In response to the financial crisis of 2008 Congress enacted the Dodd-Frank Act.

Important Links


CNBC’s segment on whistleblower reward laws, “Bounty Hunters” 

David Colapinto explains how, years after Dodd-Frank, financial reform is still under attack.



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