Articles Tagged with Securities and Exchange Commission

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.

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.

Ross Barish is a stockbroker with Joseph Stone Capital L.L.C. (“Joseph Stone Capital”) in Mineola, New York. Mr. Barish is currently under investigation by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) for defrauding sixteen retail customers by executing a high-cost, in-and-out pattern of trading that lost his customers over $800,000 while generating commissions and fees for him of more than $400,000.  

The sixteen customers experienced total losses of $814,509.

If you have suffered financial losses investing with Ross Barish or Joseph Stone Capital L.L.C., or suspect that Mr. Barish did not have your best interest in mind when recommending investments or making account transactions, contact New York securities arbitration law firm Iorio Altamirano LLP for a free and confidential review of your account or annuity contract.

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 Friday, May 14, 2021, GPB Capital Holdings LLC (“GPB Capital”), a private equity firm based in New York, registered some units in its GPB Automotive Portfolio, LP (“GPB Automotive”) with the Securities and Exchange Commission.  As part of its filing, GPB Automotive disclosed that it had substantial doubt of its ability to continue operations.  Specifically, GPB Automotive made the following risk factor disclosures to investors and potential investors:

  • We have determined that there is substantial doubt as to our ability to continue as a going concern, due to the expiration of the credit facility for the majority of our dealerships within 12 months, as well as certain other factors. Our inability to extend the maturity of our credit facility, or replace the credit facility, prior to its maturity in February 2022 would materially adversely affect our financial condition, results of operations, cash flows and business operations.
  • We may not have adequate funds to complete future capital improvement programs or to make additional acquisitions.

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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