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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

SEC awards whistleblower with audit responsibilities more than $300,000

Securities SEC Whistleblower Enforcement


On December 14, the SEC announced a more than $300,000 whistleblower award in connection with a successful enforcement action. According to the redacted order, in connection with the whistleblower’s audit-related responsibilities, the whistleblower became aware of potential securities law violations and voluntarily provided original information that contributed significantly to the enforcement action. The whistleblower also met with enforcement staff numerous times, helped to identify potential witnesses, and “aggressively attempted to remedy the misconduct and suffered a unique hardship.” The SEC notes in its press release that while individuals with audit or compliance responsibilities are generally ineligible 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.” This is the fourth award paid to a whistleblower with internal audit or compliance-related responsibilities.

The SEC has now paid approximately $731 million to 124 individuals since the inception of the program.

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