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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

SEC gives first “safe harbor” whistleblower award

Securities Whistleblower Dodd-Frank SEC


On April 5, the SEC announced an award of over $2.2 million given to a whistleblower who initially reported information to another federal agency and then later to the SEC. The award was the first paid under the “safe harbor” of the Exchange Act Rule 21F-4(b)(7), which provides that the SEC will treat information submitted to it, by a whistleblower, as though it received the information at the same time as another federal agency as long as the whistleblower submits the information to the SEC within 120 days after its submission to the other agency. According to the announcement, the SEC opened an investigation into the reported conduct after it received a referral from the other federal agency. The whistleblower then reported the same information to the SEC and later provided substantial cooperation in the investigation.

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