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SEC Whistleblower Lawyer Blog

Articles Posted in Whistleblower award

The SEC continues awarding monies to whistleblowers who assist staff with information that either leads to a successful enforcement action or makes things easier for investigative staff.  Two whistleblowers have been awarded a combined bounty of $11.5 million. The first whistleblower received an award of nearly $7 million, and the second received $4.5 million for information and assistance in the case.  In the SEC’s order, Secretary Vanessa Countryman stated that:  Both claimants had independently and voluntarily provided the SEC with credible and relevant information in regards to the company in question leading to a successful enforcement action The first claimant “persistently” contacted the SEC with information for years before staff finally opened an investigation Claimant 1 was also the primary source of information for the investigation, offering information that would have been nearly impossible for staff to uncover otherwise This included the identification of witnesses and helping SEC staff understand the “complex fact patterns” involved in the case The first individual “made persistent efforts to remedy the issues, while suffering hardships” Claimant 2 also voluntarily offered information that was based on “recent experience” and offered staff a “better understanding” of the issues This whistleblower also offered considerable assistance to staff throughout the investigation and assisted SEC staff evidence requests and settlement negotiations However, Claimant 2 delayed reporting to the SEC for “several years” after learning of the wrongdoing, which led to an appropriate reduction of the award  As always, all identifying information regarding the whistleblowers is kept confidential in compliance with the Dodd-Frank Act. The SEC has surpassed the $1B mark in awarding whistleblowers, which is not taken from recovered investor’s monies.The SEC continues awarding monies to whistleblowers who assist staff with information that either leads to a successful enforcement action or makes things easier for investigative staff.

Two whistleblowers have been awarded a combined bounty of $11.5 million. The first whistleblower received an award of nearly $7 million, and the second received $4.5 million for information and assistance in the case. Continue reading

In one of the highest payouts since the inception of the SEC’s Whistleblower Program, an individual recently received a total bounty of an astounding $110M. It’s the second highest award paid to a whistleblower, following a $114M award paid just last October. The SEC awarded the individual $40 million, and the other agency paid $70 million for a related action.  This brings the SEC’s Whistleblower program’s total awards to the $1 billion mark since 2012, and payments made to a total of 207 individuals. In FY2021 alone, the SEC has paid out over $500 million in whistleblower bounties. These come from financial sanctions collected from wrongdoers, such as civil penalties and disgorgement, not from money recovered on behalf of defrauded investors.  The whistleblower provided information from “significant independent analysis”  that greatly assisted both the SEC’s staff and the second agency in their investigations.  In the same press release and order, the SEC announced that a second whistleblower received a bounty of $4M after supplying information that was “much more limited” and provided after the beginning of an investigation.In one of the highest payouts since the inception of the SEC’s Whistleblower Program, an individual recently received a total bounty of an astounding $110M. It’s the second highest award paid to a whistleblower, following a $114M award paid just last October. The SEC awarded the individual $40 million, and the other agency paid $70 million for a related action. Continue reading

Whistleblowers have made a busy summer for the SEC this year, and there is no sign of any slowdown. Two cases saw bounties of $6 million, as described in a recent press release.  In the first order, whistleblower received a bounty of over $3.5 million after reporting new and beneficial information to the SEC. This information helped SEC to expand an already-existing investigation into a new geographical area. Noted in the SEC order is that this whistleblower is also a foreign national, and traveled for in-person meetings with staff multiple times regarding this case. The individual continued to provide assistance and information that ultimately led to charges related to the enforcement action, and ultimately, an award.  The second order saw a whistleblower receive more than $2.4 million after notifying the SEC about “previously unknown conduct.” This information led to the SEC opening its investigation. The individual notified their own employer internally prior to notifying the SEC. They continued to meet with SEC staff, provided additional documentation, and identified possible witnesses for the enforcement action.Whistleblowers have made a busy summer for the SEC this year, and there is no sign of any slowdown. Two cases saw bounties of $6 million, as described in a recent press release.

In the first order, whistleblower received a bounty of over $3.5 million after reporting new and beneficial information to the SEC. This information helped SEC to expand an already-existing investigation into a new geographical area. Noted in the SEC order is that this whistleblower is also a foreign national, and traveled for in-person meetings with staff multiple times regarding this case. The individual continued to provide assistance and information that ultimately led to charges related to the enforcement action, and ultimately, an award. Continue reading

The SEC has announced the award of $3.5 million to whistleblowers in two unrelated successful enforcement proceedings. In the first case, one individual was awarded a bounty of $2M after alerting the SEC to an ongoing fraud that led to the agency opening their investigation. The individual offered continuing assistance, which included documents, interviews, and other information that helped SEC staff conserve time and resources. The second order saw one individual receive a $1M bounty, and a second one receive $500,000. The first whistleblower provided information that the SEC used as their framework for the investigation. They also provided additional assistance throughout the investigation. The second whistleblower offered “independent analysis” that helped refine the investigation’s focus and assisted with the creation of a subpoena. The second whistleblower’s knowledge also helped the SEC staff members with the final charges that were eventually brought by the commission. The Use Of Non-GAAP Methodology Although not a factor in these two cases, many companies use Non-GAAP, or Non-Generally Accepted Accounting Practices. Some use Non-GAAP to supplement their reporting to give a clearer picture to investors. However, the SEC has also discovered that many companies use Non-GAAP in the process of committing fraud.The SEC has announced the award of $3.5 million to whistleblowers in two unrelated successful enforcement proceedings.

In the first case, one individual was awarded a bounty of $2M after alerting the SEC to an ongoing fraud that led to the agency opening their investigation. The individual offered continuing assistance, which included documents, interviews, and other information that helped SEC staff conserve time and resources. Continue reading

Four whistleblowers who assisted the SEC in two separate enforcement proceedings have been individually awarded a financial bounty as a result of providing important information.  The first order saw awards to two whistleblowers, with the first receiving a $2 million award. The provided information led to an investigation, and the individual provided continual assistance including in-person interviews and the identification of central entities and persons. The second whistleblower in the order was awarded $150,000 after providing more limited information expanding the investigation into additional allegations of misconduct at the same company. The second order awarded $1.1 million to the first whistleblower, and the second in excess of $500,000. The first whistleblower alerted the SEC to the misconduct after reporting it internally. The second whistleblower’s information was not as extensive, and not submitted as timely as the first one, with some “unreasonable delay.” The two actions arose from the same “nucleus of facts.” Therefore, this action was treated as a single covered action when determining the amount of awards given to both individuals. A third whistleblower was involved in this action. However, the SEC decided against awarding a bounty, and the individual chose not to seek reconsideration of that decision.Four whistleblowers who assisted the SEC in two separate enforcement proceedings have been individually awarded a financial bounty as a result of providing important information.

  1. The first order saw awards to two whistleblowers, with the first receiving a $2 million award. The provided information led to an investigation, and the individual provided continual assistance including in-person interviews and the identification of central entities and persons. The second whistleblower in the order was awarded $150,000 after providing more limited information expanding the investigation into additional allegations of misconduct at the same company.
  2. The second order awarded $1.1 million to the first whistleblower, and the second in excess of $500,000. The first whistleblower alerted the SEC to the misconduct after reporting it internally. The second whistleblower’s information was not as extensive, and not submitted as timely as the first one, with some “unreasonable delay.” The two actions arose from the same “nucleus of facts.” Therefore, this action was treated as a single covered action when determining the amount of awards given to both individuals. A third whistleblower was involved in this action. However, the SEC decided against awarding a bounty, and the individual chose not to seek reconsideration of that decision.

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The SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower has awarded another bounty to someone who helped by offering information.  The individual involved provided original information that led to a successful enforcement action. The information provided by the individual assisted the SEC with both administrative and judicial actions, and were treated as a single “Covered Action.”  Emily Pasquinelli, Acting Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower, said that, “The whistleblower alerted the SEC to previously unknown conduct and then provided substantial additional assistance, which conserved a considerable amount of SEC resources.”  A second individual who submitted information was not awarded a bounty and did not seek reconsideration of the decision.The SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower has awarded another bounty to someone who helped by offering information.

The individual involved provided original information that led to a successful enforcement action. The information provided by the individual assisted the SEC with both administrative and judicial actions, and were treated as a single “Covered Action.” Continue reading

Recently the SEC awarded a bounty of $1.2 million to a whistleblower who offered staff credible information as well as time and additional resources that led to a successful enforcement action.  The whistleblower, who was not publicly identified, provided information as well as ongoing assistance and additional documentation. The individual also met with SEC staff and sat for interviews related to the case.  Acting Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower Emily Pasquinelli, said, “Today’s whistleblower played a critical role in the SEC bringing an enforcement action. The whistleblower timely reported the securities law violations to the Commission and then played a key role in the successful resolution of the action.”   According to the order, the individual first reported the information to their supervisor, then waited 120 days before reporting it to the SEC. The CSR found that the reporting time frame was not subject to the rule of exclusion, and approved the award. The Claims Review Staff recommended the payment of $1.2 million to the individual, who acted on their own.Recently the SEC awarded a bounty of $1.2 million to a whistleblower who offered staff credible information as well as time and additional resources that led to a successful enforcement action.

The whistleblower, who was not publicly identified, provided information as well as ongoing assistance and additional documentation. The individual also met with SEC staff and sat for interviews related to the case. Continue reading

The SEC announced that it has awarded yet another whistleblower the sum of $1 million for information that led to a successful enforcement action. In addition to providing valuable information, the individual also cooperated and worked with SEC staff on an ongoing basis, which saved the SEC time and resources.  The whistleblower’s information included the identification of “key players,” and was also of interest to law enforcement. In the order, the SEC indicated that coming forward did result in “personal and professional hardships” for the individual, despite the confidentiality guaranteed under Dodd-Frank.  The SEC funds the Whistleblower program from monetary sanctions obtained from individual and companies that have been sued by the SEC, as well as from administrative fees. SEC bounties are never paid from moneys recovered on behalf of defrauded investors, which is returned to them when possible.The SEC announced that it has awarded yet another whistleblower the sum of $1 million for information that led to a successful enforcement action. In addition to providing valuable information, the individual also cooperated and worked with SEC staff on an ongoing basis, which saved the SEC time and resources.

The whistleblower’s information included the identification of “key players,” and was also of interest to law enforcement. In the order, the SEC indicated that coming forward did result in “personal and professional hardships” for the individual, despite the confidentiality guaranteed under Dodd-Frank. Continue reading

The SEC recently announced it has awarded several whistleblowers a total of $5.3 million who provided information and assistance for separate enforcement proceedings.  In the first case, the whistleblower received an SEC bounty of $4 million for “extraordinary assistance” and information that led the SEC to open an investigation that resulted in a successful enforcement action. The individual provided documentation with explanations, identified key witnesses, and gave hours of personal assistance by phone and other communication with SEC staff. While working to correct and resolve the misconduct, the individual also took personal and professional risks when reporting it internally.  The second combined SEC bounty of $1.3 million went to three individuals who provided information that resulted in a separate investigation and a cease-and-desist proceedings against the target company. (The proceedings are currently pending.)  The first individual provided the most information, provided considerable assistance to the SEC staff, and helped conserve time and resources. Because this individual played a vital role in the investigation, they received the larger of the three awards. The second and third whistleblowers share in a bounty totaling $270,000.  All three of these whistleblowers provided information about a possible securities violation that was occurring, or was about to occur. While the initial information started out as two separate investigations, they were both used to file a “covered action.”The SEC recently announced it has awarded several whistleblowers a total of $5.3 million who provided information and assistance for separate enforcement proceedings.

In the first case, the whistleblower received an SEC bounty of $4 million for “extraordinary assistance” and information that led the SEC to open an investigation that resulted in a successful enforcement action. The individual provided documentation with explanations, identified key witnesses, and gave hours of personal assistance by phone and other communication with SEC staff. While working to correct and resolve the misconduct, the individual also took personal and professional risks when reporting it internally. Continue reading

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