The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced an award of nearly $3 million to a whistleblower whose information and assistance led to a successful SEC enforcement action.
“The whistleblower alerted the SEC to previously unknown conduct and then provided substantial additional assistance, which conserved a considerable amount of SEC resources,” said Emily Pasquinelli, Acting Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower. “We have recently given awards to a significant number of whistleblowers, like the one awarded today, who played an important role in our enforcement program’s success.”
The SEC has awarded approximately $942 million to 186 individuals since issuing its first award in 2012. All payments are made out of an investor protection fund established by Congress that 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 percent 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 any information that could reveal a whistleblower’s identity.
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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.