SEC Awards Over $12 Million to Two Whistleblowers for Their Assistance in Successful Enforcement Action
March 31, 2023 – The SEC announced that it had awarded more than $12 million to two whistleblowers who had provided valuable information and assistance in a successful SEC enforcement action. The awards were made out of a Congressionally-established investor protection fund financed entirely through monetary sanctions paid to the SEC by securities law violators.
The Role of Whistleblowers in Protecting Investors and Capital Markets
Whistleblowers play a crucial role in helping the SEC detect and prosecute wrongdoing and in protecting investors and the capital markets. The information and assistance provided by these two whistleblowers in identifying complex wrongdoing demonstrate the importance of the whistleblower program to the SEC’s enforcement efforts.
The first whistleblower was instrumental in prompting the opening of the investigation and provided information on violations that would have been difficult to detect otherwise. This whistleblower also identified key witnesses, helped staff understand complex fact patterns and issues, and made persistent efforts to remedy the issues. As a result, this whistleblower will receive an award of over $9 million.
The second whistleblower submitted critical new information during the course of the investigation and will receive an award of more than $3 million.
Whistleblower Awards and Eligibility Criteria
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 monetary sanctions exceed $1 million.
The Dodd-Frank Act protects the confidentiality of whistleblowers, and the SEC does not disclose any information that could reveal a whistleblower’s identity. Whistleblowers who use an attorney gain additional privacy protections, since the SEC does not know the identity of the whistleblower until the investigation proceeds.
The SEC’s whistleblower program is a vital tool in protecting investors and the capital markets from fraud and other securities violations. The recent awards to these two whistleblowers demonstrate the SEC’s commitment to incentivizing individuals to come forward with valuable information to help the agency pursue successful enforcement actions.
If you have information about securities violations and are considering blowing the whistle, call the experienced whistleblower attorneys at Sallah Astarita & Cox, LLC to understand your rights and protections under the law.