SEC Awards $18 Million Whistleblower Award
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced today (August 25) a whistleblower award of $18 million “to a whistleblower whose information and assistance led to a successful SEC enforcement action.” Due to the agency’s commitment to keeping the identity of its whistleblowers strictly confidential, it did not disclose who the whistleblower is, or the enforcement action to which the reward is tied.
All we know is the individual first reported the misconduct internally to their company. As is so often the case unfortunately, the company apparently did nothing about it. The whistleblower then reported the misconduct to the SEC, prompting the agency to open an investigation, which ultimately led the agency to bring a successful enforcement action. According to the agency, the whistleblower “provided additional helpful information and substantial cooperation that saved the Commission time and resources during the investigation.”
Under the SEC Whistleblower Program, individuals who voluntarily report securities fraud violations to the SEC that lead to a successful enforcement action are entitled to up to 30 percent of the government’s recovery. They also may be entitled to a share of related recoveries from other government agencies if the information they provide the SEC is a basis for the related government recovery.
This latest award comes only a few weeks after the SEC made a $104 million award (on August 4) to seven whistleblowers. And 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.
All this just reinforcing how much the SEC relies on whistleblowers, how seriously the SEC takes its whistleblower program, and how willing the agency is to handsomely reward whistleblowers who voluntarily come forward with information on fraud or misconduct. With this latest reward, the SEC did not mince words in showing the love for its whistleblowers. According to SEC Whistleblower Chief Creola Kelly:
Whistleblowers continue to play an essential role in assisting the agency in detecting misconduct and bringing securities law violators to justice. Today’s whistleblower refused to turn a blind eye to the wrongdoing . . . .”
So if you have information on potential fraud or misconduct involving any potential violations of the securities laws, the SEC has made it very clear they want to hear from you. This can involve fraud in accounting, financial reporting, IPOs, SPACs, foreign bribery, Ponzi schemes, market manipulation, dark pools, insider trading, data breaches, cybersecurity, cryptocurrency, and so on. There appears to be a boundless array of financial and investment fraud schemes going on these days.
If you have information of potential securities misconduct and 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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