Filing an official complaint form with the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower is the first step a whistleblower should take in to submit a tip to the SEC about a potential violation. This form is known as a “TCR” and stands for “tip, complaint, and referral.” The form can be filled out on-line or faxed.
It is to a whistleblower’s advantage to file this form as quickly as possible. The SEC whistleblower rewards can only be paid based on “original” information and to the whistleblower who first alerts the Commission to a potential violation stands the strongest chance of obtaining the largest reward.
Supporting information can and should be filed with the TCR.
After that, if the SEC is interested in the case submitted by the whistleblower, the SEC will initiate an investigation. You can also file TCRs concerning ongoing cases. The whistleblower only needs to provide original information that is used by the Commission as the basis of any ultimate sanction.
If the SEC sanctions an individual or company $1 million or more, the case then moves to the second stage, the filing of the formal APP award application.