The SEC announced an award of more than $300,000 to a whistleblower whose high-quality information and continuing assistance significantly contributed to a successful enforcement action.
According to the press release, the whistleblower became aware of the potential securities law violations in connection with audit-related responsibilities. Although individuals with audit or compliance responsibilities are generally not eligible for awards, a whistleblower who reasonably believes that an entity is engaging in conduct that would impede the investigation falls within one of the exceptions to that rule. Here, the whistleblower had a reasonable basis to believe that the entity would impede the Commission’s investigation. This is the fourth time the agency has paid a whistleblower with internal audit or compliance related responsibilities.
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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.