Articles Posted in Whistleblower

On August 2, 2021, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced whistleblower awards of more than $4 million to four whistleblowers who provided information and assistance to the SEC in two separate enforcement proceedings.

In the first enforcement proceeding, a whistleblower was awarded more than $2 million for providing the regulator with information that launched an investigation.  The informant also provided the SEC with ongoing assistance by participating in interviews and identifying key individuals and entities.  Another whistleblower was issued an award of $150,000 for providing the SEC with information that resulted in an expansion of the investigation.

In the second enforcement action, the SEC awarded more than $1.6 million to two whistleblowers.  The first individual provided the SEC with information that alerted the SEC to the violations and was awarded $1.1 million. The second whistleblower was awarded $500,000 for providing significant and timely information.

On July 21, 2021, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced an award of nearly $3 million to a whistleblower who alerted the SEC to previously unknown conduct that led to a successful SEC enforcement action.  According to Emily Pasquinelli, Acting Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower, the whistleblower “provided substantial additional assistance” to the SEC, which resulted in the SEC saving a “considerable amount of SEC resources.”

In total, the SEC has awarded over $942 million to 186 individuals since the whistleblower program became effective in August 2011. The awards are paid out of an investor protection fund established by Congress financed entirely through monetary sanctions paid to the SEC by securities law violators. Money is not taken or withheld from harmed investors to pay whistleblower awards.

Congress established the whistleblower program to incentivize whistleblowers with specific, timely, and credible information about federal securities law violations to report to the SEC.  A whistleblower may receive an award if they voluntarily provide the SEC with qualifying information, leading to successful enforcement. The award can range from 10 percent to 30 percent of the money collected due to the enforcement action.

On July 15, 2021, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced an award of more than $1 million to a whistleblower.  According to Emily Pasquinelli, Acting Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower, the whistleblower “played a crucial role” by providing the SEC with valuable information and ongoing assistance.

In 2021, the SEC has now awarded over $200 million to whistleblowers. Since the whistleblower program became effective in August 2011, the SEC has awarded over $939 million to 182 individuals.  The awards are paid out of an investor protection fund established by Congress financed entirely through monetary sanctions paid to the SEC by securities law violators. Money is not taken or withheld from harmed investors to pay whistleblower awards.

Congress established the whistleblower program to incentivize whistleblowers with specific, timely, and credible information about federal securities law violations to report to the SEC.  A whistleblower may receive an award if they voluntarily provide the SEC with qualifying information, leading to successful enforcement. The award can range from 10 percent to 30 percent of the money collected due to the enforcement action.

During the week of January 21, 2021, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) awarded approximately $6.3 million to five whistleblowers.

First, on June 21, 2021, the SEC announced awards of nearly $4 million to an informant whose information led to the initiation of an SEC investigation that resulted in a successful enforcement action.  According to the SEC’s press release, the whistleblower provided extraordinary assistance, participating in hours of telephonic interviews and communicating dozens of times with investigative staff. The whistleblower also identified key witnesses and provided documents to the staff.

Also, on June 21, 2021, the SEC awarded approximately $1.3 million to three whistleblowers who provided the SEC with information that prompted the opening of an investigation.

On June 14, 2021, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) revealed a total award of approximately $3 million to two whistleblowers.  According to the SEC’s press release, the whistleblowers separately and independently provided the SEC with valuable information and ongoing assistance, which included participating in multiple interviews and providing helpful documents.  The whistleblowers’ assistance led to a successful SEC enforcement action.

In total, the SEC has awarded around $932 million to 172 individuals since the whistleblower program became effective in August 2011. All awards are paid 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.

Congress established the whistleblower program to incentivize whistleblowers with specific, timely, and credible information about federal securities law violations to report to the SEC.  A whistleblower may receive an award if they voluntarily provide the SEC with qualifying information, leading to successful enforcement. The award can range from 10 percent to 30 percent of the money collected due to the enforcement action.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) began the month of June 2021 by announcing awards of approximately $13 million and $10 million to two whistleblowers whose whistleblower tips led to successful SEC enforcement actions and related actions.  In addition to the initial tips, the whistleblowers also provided the SEC and another federal agency with substantial assistance by submitted information and documents, participating in interviews, and identifying key individuals who engaged in the misconduct at issue.

According to Emily Pasquinelli, the Acting Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower, the “whistleblowers’ information and assistance led to multiple successful enforcement actions related to a complex and fraudulent scheme involving multiple individuals and tens of millions of dollars in ill-gotten gains.”

In total, the SEC has awarded over $928 million to 166 individuals since the whistleblower program became effective in August 2011. All awards are paid 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.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced an award of more than $28 million to a whistleblower whose information led to both an SEC enforcement action and an investigation by another federal agency.  The regulatory actions resulted in significant enforcement actions.

According to Reuters, the whistleblower’s tip led U.S. authorities to bring bribery charges against a subsidiary of Panasonic Corp.  In 2018, Panasonic Avionics Corp consented to pay approximately $280 million to settle criminal and civil charges that the company falsified its financial records to conceal payments to sales agents in China and other parts of Asia.

The $28 million award is the tenth-largest in the SEC’s Whistleblower Program’s history.

On May 12, 2021, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced an award of approximately $3.6 million to a whistleblower who brought valuable information to the SEC’s attention, which lead to an investigation that ended in a successful SEC enforcement action.  According to Emily Pasquinelli, Acting Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower, the “whistleblower further assisted the SEC by providing ongoing assistance as the Commission’s investigation progressed.”

Since the beginning of the year, the SEC has awarded over $104 million to whistleblowers:

  • May 10, 2021: The SEC awarded $22 million to two whistleblowers whose information and assistance aided the SEC, resulting in successful SEC enforcement actions against a financial services firm.

On May 10, 2021, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced an award of approximately $22 million to two whistleblowers whose information and assistance aided the SEC that resulted in successful SEC enforcement actions brought against a financial services firm.

The first whistleblower, who was the initial source of the investigation, received an award of $18 million.  The second whistleblower, who submitted information much later after the investigation was already underway, received an award of $4 million.  Both whistleblowers assisted the SEC’s staff to better understand complex transactions related to the matters under investigation.

“This case demonstrates once again the value of the whistleblower program in helping to protect investors, and the Commission’s continued commitment to rewarding individuals who provide high-quality tips,” said Emily Pasquinelli, Acting Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower.

On April 9, 2021, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced an award of approximately $2,500,000 to a whistleblower who provided information and assistance that resulted in a successful SEC enforcement action.  The whistleblower provided crucial evidence that supported charges related to a breach of fiduciary duties owed to investors, according to Jane Norberg, Chief of the SEC’s Office of Whistleblower.

Unrelatedly, on April 8, 2021, the SEC announced that Ms. Norberg, who has been the Chief of the SEC’s Office of Whistleblower since 2016, intends to leave the agency this month.   Ms. Norberg has been with the Whistleblower Office since its inception in 2012. The Whistleblower Office’s Deputy Chief, Emily Pasquinelli, will serve as Acting Chief following Ms. Norberg’s departure.

In total, the SEC has awarded over $762 million to 148 individuals since the whistleblower program became effective in August 2011. All awards are paid 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.

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