he Securities and Exchange Commission today announced awards of approximately $11.5 million to two whistleblowers whose information and assistance contributed to the success of an SEC enforcement action.
The first whistleblower received an award of nearly $7 million, while the second whistleblower received more than $4.5 million. The larger award was in recognition of the fact that the first whistleblower was the initial source that caused the staff to open the investigation into hard-to-detect violations and thereafter provided substantial assistance. The second whistleblower, by comparison, submitted information later, after the investigation was already underway, and had delayed reporting to the Commission for several years after becoming aware of the wrongdoing.
“This case demonstrates the Commission’s continued commitment to rewarding individuals who provide high-quality tips, and particularly timely ones,” said Emily Pasquinelli, Acting Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower. “These whistleblowers reported credible information that aided the Commission’s investigation and their subsequent cooperation allowed the Commission to better understand the violations that formed the basis of the enforcement action.”
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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.