Washington D.C., May 6, 2022 — The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced a total award of nearly $3.5 million to four whistleblowers who provided information and assistance in a single covered action.
Three joint whistleblowers provided Commission staff with information that caused the staff to open a new investigation that led to the successful enforcement action. These joint whistleblowers’ information also caused another agency to open an investigation which led to a separate successful action. Another whistleblower provided insights based on an analysis of publicly available information that focused the staff’s attention on new allegations that advanced the investigation.
“Credible and specific tips of securities laws violations, whether from corporate insiders or members of the public, strengthen the Commission’s enforcement program,” said Creola Kelly, Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower. “Today’s whistleblowers provided valuable information that assisted the Commission’s investigation.”
The SEC has awarded approximately $1.3 billion to 273 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.