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.
Individuals who have information regarding fraud or other violations of federal securities laws should contact whistleblower 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.