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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

SEC issues multiple whistleblower awards

Securities SEC Whistleblower Enforcement Investigations


On January 10, the SEC announced that it awarded whistleblowers nearly $4 million for providing information and assistance in two separate investigations. According to the first redacted order, the whistleblower, who reported internally prior to reporting to the SEC, provided significant new information during an existing investigation that alerted the SEC to misconduct occurring overseas and permitted SEC staff to develop an efficient investigative plan to discover the full extent of the violations. The whistleblower received approximately $2.6 million. In the second redacted order, the SEC issued approximately $1.5 million to joint whistleblowers for providing substantial ongoing assistance throughout the investigation, such as by consulting telephonically with SEC staff and providing information about key witnesses, which led to the success of the investigation.

Earlier on January 6, the SEC announced that it awarded a whistleblower nearly $13 million for providing information and assistance that led to an investigation and successful SEC enforcement action. According to the redacted order, the whistleblower voluntarily provided original information to the Commission by meeting in person and helping SEC staff understand the mechanics of the fraudulent scheme, which enabled the Commission to stop an ongoing fraud, minimize investor losses, and return tens of millions of dollars to harmed investors.

The SEC has awarded approximately $1.2 billion to 241 individuals since issuing its first award in 2012.

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