October 31, 2022 – The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced an award of more than $10 million to a whistleblower who provided information and assistance that significantly contributed to a successful SEC enforcement action.
The whistleblower provided important documents and met twice with Enforcement staff. The charges in the covered action had a close nexus with the whistleblower’s allegations, which were critical to the underlying investigation.
“The whistleblower awarded today provided information that resulted in the return of a significant amount of money to harmed investors,” said Creola Kelly, Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower. “This illustrates how the Whistleblower Program works to benefit, via financial remediation, investors who are victimized by those who violate our securities laws.”
Payments to whistleblowers are made out of an investor protection fund, established by Congress, which is financed entirely through monetary sanctions paid to the SEC by securities law violators. No money has been taken or withheld from harmed investors to pay whistleblower awards. Whistleblowers may be eligible for an award when they voluntarily provide the SEC with original, timely, and credible information that leads to a successful enforcement action. Whistleblower awards can range from 10 to 30 percent of the money collected when the monetary sanctions exceed $1 million.
As set forth in the Dodd-Frank Act, the SEC protects the confidentiality of whistleblowers and does not disclose information that could reveal a whistleblower’s identity.
Mark Astarita is a nationally recognized securities attorney, who represents investors, financial professionals and firms in securities litigation, arbitration and regulatory matters, including SEC and FINRA investigations and enforcement proceedings.
He is a partner in the national securities law firm Sallah Astarita & Cox, LLC, and the founder of The Securities Law Home Page - SECLaw.com, which was one of the first legal topic sites on the Internet. It went online in 1995 and is updated daily with news, commentary and securities law related links.