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SEC Whistleblower Awards Keep Rolling In

Posted  September 17, 2020

Earlier this week, the SEC announced an award of more than $10 million “to a whistleblower whose information and assistance were of crucial importance to a successful SEC enforcement action.”  This brings the total tally under the SEC’s Whistleblower Program to $520 million in awards to 94 whistleblowers since the first award in 2012.

It also marks the latest in a flood of awards this year, including the $50 million award the SEC made in June, the largest award to a single individual to date.  The SEC trumpeted that award as a “milestone” under the program and to further reinforce the SEC’s commitment to whistleblowers as “a critical tool in the enforcement arsenal to combat fraud and protect investors.”

All in, the SEC has so far made more than a dozen awards this year, totaling roughly $125 million dollars.  In addition to the $50 million award in June, these include awards of: $2.5 million on September 1; $1.25 million on August 31; $3.8 million on July 14; $125,000 on June 23; $700,000 on June 19; $2 million on May 4; $18 million on April 28; $5 million on April 20; $27 million on April 16; $2 million on April 3; $450,000 on March 30; $570,000 on March 24; $1.6 million on March 23; $7 million on February 28; and $277,000 and $45,000 on January 22.

It has been by far the most prolific stretch of awards since the program’s inception.  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 agency makes that clear with every award.  This week’s $10 million award was no different, with SEC Whistleblower Chief Jane Norberg recognizing “the persistent efforts of the whistleblower to expose serious financial misconduct” and the “extensive and ongoing assistance” the whistleblower provided the SEC in its investigation.

With this most recent award, like with all awards, the SEC has withheld the identity of the whistleblower along with the substance of the whistleblower’s complaint and the company that was the target of the SEC’s ensuring enforcement action.  The SEC never discloses this information, consistent with its strong commitment to maintaining the confidentiality of all whistleblowers.

The major takeaway for would-be whistleblowers here, as the SEC keeps reminding us, is that the agency continues to be very much open for business.  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.

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Tagged in: Anonymity, Financial and Investment Fraud, Importance of Whistleblowers, SEC Whistleblower Reward Program, Securities Fraud, Whistleblower Case, Whistleblower Eligibility, Whistleblower Rewards,