SEC Awards $2.5 Million to Whistleblower, as Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower Announces Impending Departure  

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.

Congress established the whistleblower program to incentivize whistleblowers with specific, timely, and credible information about federal securities laws 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.

Individuals who have information regarding fraud or other violations of federal securities laws should contact law firm Iorio Altamirano LLP for a free consultation to review your legal rights on how to file a whistleblower tip to the SEC and preserve eligibility to receive a whistleblower award.

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