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.
In total, the SEC has awarded over $946 million to 190 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.
Whistleblowers play an important role in fighting corruption, protecting retail investors, and maintaining a free and healthy market. Iorio Altamirano LLP, an investor advocate law firm, is committed to the effective representation of whistleblowers.
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.