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  • SEC issues more than $25.6 million in whistleblower awards

    Securities

    On May 12, the SEC announced a whistleblower award totaling around $3.6 million in connection with a successful enforcement action. According to the redacted order, the whistleblower provided new information that lead to the initial charges as well as “ongoing assistance as the Commission’s investigation progressed.”

    Earlier on May 10, the SEC also announced whistleblower awards totaling approximately $22 million in connection with a successful enforcement action. According to the redacted order, the SEC awarded a whistleblower approximately $18 million for providing (i) information that led to the opening of the investigation brought against a financial services firm, and (ii) ongoing assistance during the investigation. The second whistleblower received a $4 million award for submitting information after the investigation began. The SEC noted that both whistleblowers provided information and cooperation that “allowed the Commission to better understand complex transactions related to the matters under investigation.”

    The SEC has awarded approximately $842 million to 157 individuals since issuing its first award in 2012.

    Securities Whistleblower Securities and Exchange Commission Enforcement

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  • SEC issues over $3 million in whistleblower awards

    Securities

    On April 23, the SEC announced whistleblower awards totaling more than $3 million in two separate enforcement actions. According to the first redacted order, the SEC awarded a whistleblower approximately $3.2 million for alerting enforcement staff to violations, identifying key issues for staff to focus on, and providing a “roadmap” for staff that conserved resources. However, the SEC noted that the whistleblower “unreasonably delayed” reporting the information to the Commission—it was submitted approximately four years after the date on which the whistleblower first noticed the misconduct—during which “investors continued to suffer harm.”

    In the second redacted order, the SEC awarded a whistleblower more than $100,000 for providing information (of which “there was substantial law enforcement interest”) that assisted the Commission’s investigation and “was one of the underlying sources that formed the basis for the charges in the Covered Action.” The SEC noted that the whistleblower provided helpful assistance and suffered personal and professional hardships as a result.

    Securities Whistleblower Enforcement Securities and Exchange Commission Investigations

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  • SEC awards $50 million to whistleblower

    Securities

    On April 15, the SEC announced an award of more than $50 million to joint whistleblowers in connection with violations that involved highly complex transactions that would have been difficult to detect without their information. According to the redacted order, the joint whistleblowers “assistance was critical to staff’s ability to identify and investigate the unlawful securities violations,” including meeting with staff numerous times and providing voluminous detailed documents, which led to the return of tens of millions of dollars to harmed investors.

    The SEC has now awarded approximately $812 million to 151 individuals since it issued its first award in 2012.

     

    Securities Securities and Exchange Commission Whistleblower Enforcement

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  • SEC awards approximately $2.5 million to whistleblower

    Securities

    On April 9, the SEC announced an approximately $2.5 million whistleblower award in connection with a successful enforcement action. According to the redacted order, the whistleblower supplied information that led to charges related to a breach of fiduciary duties owed to investors, provided significant ongoing assistance to enforcement staff, and reported the information internally to the company.

    The SEC has now paid approximately $762 million to 148 individuals since the inception of the whistleblower program in 2012.

    Securities Securities Exchange Act Whistleblower Enforcement

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  • SEC awards more than $500,000 to whistleblower under “safe harbor” provision

    Securities

    On March 29, the SEC announced a more than $500,000 whistleblower award in connection with an enforcement action. According to the redacted order, the whistleblower raised concerns about alleged securities violations internally, which prompted an investigation by the company. The company then reported the information to an outside agency, which in turn made a referral to Commission staff, thus prompting the opening of the SEC’s investigation. The SEC noted that the whistleblower also provided helpful documents and met with Commission staff, allowing the SEC and another agency to quickly file actions and shut down the ongoing fraudulent scheme. Additionally, the SEC explained that because the whistleblower also submitted a tip to the SEC within 120 days of reporting the violations internally to the company, the whistleblower satisfied the SEC’s whistleblower rule’s “safe harbor” provision, thereby allowing the SEC to treat the whistleblower’s information “as though it had been made on the date that the [whistleblower] provided that same information to his/her employer[].”

    The SEC has now paid approximately $760 million to 145 individuals since the inception of the whistleblower program in 2012. The Commission noted that, with this award, it has now “awarded 40 individuals this fiscal year, surpassing last year’s record of 39 individual awards,” and has “awarded whistleblowers nearly $200 million in the first half of FY21 alone.”

    Securities Enforcement Whistleblower SEC Investigations

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  • SEC issues more than $6.5 million in whistleblower awards

    Securities

    On March 9, the SEC announced an approximately $1.5 million whistleblower award in connection with a successful enforcement action. According to the redacted order, the whistleblower provided information that led to the opening of the investigation, and assisted enforcement staff by providing multiple written submissions and identifying potential witnesses. The whistleblower also met with enforcement staff multiple times to explain information.

    Earlier, on March 4, the SEC announced a more than $5 million joint award to two whistleblowers who alerted enforcement staff to misconduct occurring abroad that would otherwise “have been difficult to detect.” According to the redacted order, the whistleblowers voluntarily submitted a joint tip that led to the opening of the investigation, and continued to assist enforcement staff by providing information that directly supported certain allegations in the enforcement action. However, in the same order, the SEC affirmed denial of two other claimants’ award claims after determining that the individuals did not submit information leading to the successful enforcement of the covered action. The SEC noted, among other things, that these claimants’ tips did not cause the opening of the investigation and that the information provided related to conduct by “entirely different companies” and was not used in the covered action.

    The SEC has now paid approximately $759 million to 143 individuals since the inception of the whistleblower program in 2012. 

    Securities SEC Whistleblower Enforcement Investigations

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  • SEC issues multiple whistleblower awards

    Securities

    On March 1, the SEC announced a more than $500,000 whistleblower award in connection with a successful enforcement action. According to the redacted order, two whistleblowers provided timely tips that revealed an ongoing fraud and formed the basis for the SEC’s action, as well as a related action from another government agency. The SEC noted that both whistleblowers provided “substantial, ongoing assistance” that conserved the agencies’ time and resources. 

    Earlier on February 25, the SEC announced whistleblower awards totaling more than $1.7 million in two separate enforcement actions. According to the first redacted order, the SEC awarded a whistleblower over $900,000 for providing significant information and documents, including “a critical declaration,” that helped expedite an investigation and allowed the SEC to “shut down an ongoing. . .scheme preying on retail investors.” In the second redacted order, a whistleblower was awarded over $800,000 for providing “important evidence of false and misleading statements made to investors,” which led to the “return [of] millions of dollars to harmed investors.”

    The SEC has now paid approximately $753 million to 140 individuals since the inception of the program in 2012. 

    Securities Whistleblower Enforcement SEC

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  • SEC issues multiple whistleblower awards, including award based on DOJ agreement

    Securities

    On February 23, the SEC announced a more than $9.2 million award to a whistleblower whose information and assistance led to successful related DOJ actions. This marks the first SEC whistleblower award based on a DOJ non-prosecution agreement or deferred prosecution agreement since amendments to the SEC’s whistleblower program rules took effect last December (covered by InfoBytes here). The SEC noted that the whistleblower was previously awarded for his contributions to a successful SEC enforcement action based on the same information that supported the DOJ’s actions, which is a prerequisite in order to be eligible for a related-action award. According to the redacted order, the whistleblower provided significant, original information to the SEC about an ongoing fraud that “enabled a large amount of money to be returned to investors harmed by the fraud.” The SEC provided the information to the DOJ, noting that the whistleblower provided significant assistance by traveling at the whistleblower’s own expense to be interviewed by DOJ.

    Earlier on February 19, the SEC announced whistleblower awards totaling nearly $3 million in two separate enforcement actions. According to the first redacted order, the SEC awarded a whistleblower over $2.2 million for providing original information that significantly contributed to the investigation and resulted in the “return of millions of dollars to harmed clients.” According to the SEC, the whistleblower also “took personal and professional risks by raising concerns internally in an effort to remedy the misconduct.”

    In the second redacted order, the SEC awarded a whistleblower nearly $700,000 for alerting Commission staff to a fraudulent reporting scheme, which prompted the opening of an investigation. The SEC noted that the whistleblower voluntarily provided critical documents and information to Commission staff, helped identify key documents and witnesses, thus conserving SEC time and resources, and “internally raised concerns about the perceived conduct in an effort to remedy the violations.”

    The SEC has now paid approximately $750 million to 136 individuals since the inception of the program in 2012.

    Securities SEC Whistleblower Enforcement

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  • SEC issues nearly $600,000 whistleblower award

    Securities

    On January 14, the SEC announced a whistleblower award of nearly $600,000 in connection with a successful enforcement action. According to the redacted order, the whistleblower provided new, highly valuable information during the course of the investigation, as well as substantial assistance, including meeting with enforcement staff numerous times and providing critical investigative leads. Additionally, the SEC notes that “there is a close nexus” between the whistleblower’s information and certain charges in the covered action.

    The SEC has now paid approximately $738 million to 134 individuals since the inception of the program.

    Securities SEC Whistleblower Enforcement

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  • SEC issues whistleblower awards totaling over $1.1 million

    Securities

    On January 7, the SEC announced whistleblower awards totaling over $1.1 million in separate enforcement actions. According to the first redacted order, the SEC awarded three whistleblowers nearly $500,000 for providing information in two related enforcement actions. Information voluntarily provided by the first whistleblower—a company outsider—prompted the opening of the investigation, while the second and third whistleblowers provided significant information contributing to the success of the actions, while also assisting investigative staff.

    In the second redacted order, the SEC awarded a whistleblower nearly $600,000 for voluntarily providing information leading to a successful enforcement action, assisting Commission staff, and repeatedly reporting “concerns internally in an effort to correct the problems at the company.”

    In the third redacted order, a whistleblower was awarded more than $100,000 for providing independent analysis leading to a successful enforcement action. The whistleblower, among other things, “used information from various publicly available documents to calculate an estimate of an important metric for [the company],” and then “showed that the [c]ompany’s disclosures regarding that metric were implausible.” According to the SEC, this is the fifth individual who received an award based on independent analysis in fiscal year 2021.

    The SEC has now paid approximately $737 million to 133 individuals since the inception of the program.

    Securities Whistleblower Enforcement SEC

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