Thinking of bringing evidence of wrongdoing by your employer to the Securities Exchange Commission? If your desire to do so stems from a sense of morality, a need to speak up when you see misbehavior going down, by all means, proceed. However, if you're thinking of blowing that whistle solely for the pay day, know that you'll be waiting on the cash for quite some time.
Of the 297 whistleblowers who have applied for awards since 2011, about 247—or roughly 83%—haven’t received a decision from the SEC, according to data obtained by The Wall Street Journal in response to a public-records request. Some of the award claims have been delayed more than two years. The SEC’s whistleblower program imposes strict deadlines on claimants; at least six people have been denied an award because they didn’t submit their claims in time, according to the agency’s website. But there are no such time limits for the agency to respond to award claims. The backlog is a potentially serious issue for a highly touted program that has quickly become a cornerstone of the agency’s efforts to root out securities fraud, paying awards totaling more than $50 million. Experts worry that long delays, if allowed to persist, could deter future tipsters.