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SEC Awards $104 Million to Seven Whistleblowers

Posted  August 16, 2023

Earlier this month (August 4), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced its award of $104 million to seven whistleblowers “whose information and assistance led to a successful SEC enforcement action and related actions brought by another agency.”  It follows a string of blockbuster awards under the SEC Whistleblower Program, which provides whistleblowers who provide information leading to a successful government enforcement action up to 30% of any government recovery.  It was only three months ago (May 5) when the SEC made a $279 million award to a single whistleblower.  It was the agency’s largest award ever and the largest under any of the government’s ever-expanding array of whistleblower rewards programs.

The SEC did not identify the most recent award winners or the particular securities misconduct they helped expose.  The agency never does, per its strict policy of keeping the identity of its whistleblowers secret.  All we know is the seven whistleblowers “provided information that either prompted the opening of or significantly contributed to an SEC investigation.”  This included providing documents supporting the allegations of misconduct, sitting for interviews, and identifying potential witnesses.  The SEC Order accompanying the award determination provides a little more detail on the basis for the agency’s decision making, including why it determined certain whistleblowers were not entitled to any award at all.  But for the most part, we remain in the dark.  Just as the SEC and its whistleblowers prefer.

While we do not know who the whistleblowers are, what information they reported, and what enforcement action the government ultimately took, what we do from this latest award is that the SEC Whistleblower Program continues play a critical role in SEC enforcement.  Whether it be potential fraud or misconduct involving accounting, financial reporting, IPOs, SPACs, foreign bribery, Ponzi schemes, market manipulation, dark pools, insider trading, data breaches, cybersecurity, cryptocurrency, or any violations of the securities laws — the SEC wants to hear from you.  And they have made it very clear, they are willing to show you the money if you give them a helping hand.

If you have information of potential securities misconduct and you would like to speak to a member of the Constantine Cannon whistleblower team, please do not hesitate to contact us for a free and confidential consultation.

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