Whistleblowers: 12,000 people cried foul play on their companies last year to the SEC

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Back in January we wrote about how the work-from-home revolution was also sparking a revolution in telling-on-your-coworkers. At the time, the US Securities and Exchange Commission had just received 6,911 tips from whistleblowers, which was up 30% on the year before.

Well, we just got the data in for the 12-months to September 2021, and the SEC got over 12,000 tips... a 76% rise on last year.

It's easy to understand why whistleblowing might go up when working from home. It's a lot harder to look over someone's shoulder, and it's a lot easier to pluck up the courage to tell on some shady practices if you don't have to look your boss in the face the day after you do it.

Snitch, then get rich?

There are also some pretty powerful financial incentives for those who inform on wrongdoing that results in successful legal action. Just last week the SEC paid out $12.5m to a whistleblower, whose tip-off resulted in action. That's a nice payday for doing something good, but it's nothing on the enormous $114m that was paid out to one individual last year. All told the SEC has now cut 226 checks, worth a cool $1.1 billion, since 2012.

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