SEC Has Record Year of Whistleblower Rewards
The SEC closed out its fiscal year (September 30) with an avalanche of whistleblower awards, doling out 15 awards for a total of more than $50 million in September alone. Six of those awards were made on September 30, clearly highlighting the SEC’s desire to trumpet the success of its whistleblower program for this record-breaking year.
The SEC also seems to be standing strong in its continued messaging to would-be whistleblowers that the SEC wants to hear from you. This is evident not only from the rash of awards made this past year, but from the SEC’s promotion of the awards, no matter how large or small.
In this vein, SEC Whistleblower Chief Jane Norberg declared in the press release announcing two of the final awards this year that “we hope that awards like the ones issued by the Commission today will continue to incentivize individuals to come forward and report high-quality tips to the SEC.”
SEC Director of Enforcement Stephanie Avakian likewise called out in a parallel press release
the “record-setting year for the whistleblower program” and the agency’s commitment to continue “rewarding the valuable contributions of whistleblowers.” All in, the SEC’s whistleblower award tally for the fiscal year comprised 39 awards totaling roughly $175 million.
Here is the breakout of awards since January:
- September 30 – 4 awards for $5 million
- September 30 – 2 awards for $29 million
- September 28 – 1 award for $1.8 million
- September 25 – 2 awards for $2.5 million
- September 21 – 1 award for $2.4 million
- September 17 – 2 awards for $250,000
- September 14 – 1 award for $10 million
- September 1 – 2 awards for $2.5 million
- August 31 – 1 award for $1.25 million
- July 14 – 1 award for $3.8 million
- June 23 – 1 award for $125,000
- June 19 – 1 award for $700,000
- June 4 – 1 award for $50 million
- May 4 – 1 award for $2 million
- April 28 – 1 award for $18 million
- April 20 – 1 award for $5 million
- April 16 – 1 award for $27 million
- April 3 – 1 award for $2 million
- March 30 – 1 award for $450,000
- March 24 – 2 awards for $570,000
- March 23 – 1 award for $1.6 million
- February 28 – 1 award for $7 million
- January 22 – 2 awards for $325,000.
It has been by far the most prolific year of SEC whistleblower awards since the program’s inception in 2012, including the blockbuster awards of $50 million in June and $27 million in April. And all signs are the stream of SEC whistleblower awards will continue. So will the accompanying spike in SEC whistleblowers, fueled by these awards and the agency’s strong signaling that it wants to hear from whistleblowers.
The major takeaway here, as the SEC keeps reminding us, is that the agency continues to be very much open for whistleblower business. This comes from every corner of the agency, including the very top. Indeed, in his recent annual speech on the SEC’s accomplishments for the past year, SEC’s Chairman Jay Clayton led off with a tip of the hat to the whistleblower program and the record-setting year it has had.
So if you believe you might have useful information regarding potential securities fraud violations and would like to speak to an experienced member of the Constantine Cannon whistleblower lawyer team, please do not hesitate to contact us. When it comes to reporting to the SEC, there has never been a better time to stand up and say something if you see something.
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