The SEC has announced an award of nearly $5 million to a whistleblower who provided critical information and assistance that led to the success of a covered action. The whistleblower’s information helped the SEC to more quickly and efficiently bring an action that returned millions of dollars to harmed investors.
“Today’s award underscores the vital role that whistleblowers play in the SEC’s enforcement program and the protection of investors,” said Creola Kelly, Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower. “Because of the information and assistance provided by the whistleblower, a significant amount of money was returned to victims of the securities laws violations.”
The SEC has awarded approximately $1.2 billion to 236 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 to 30 percent of the money collected when the monetary sanctions exceed $1 million.
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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.