The SEC announced an award of almost $4 million to a whistleblower who provided detailed, specific information about serious securities misconduct and provided ongoing assistance throughout the ensuing investigation.
According to the SEC order, the SEC recommended that the whistleblower receive an award because the individual voluntarily provided original information to the SEC that led to a successful enforcement action. Further, while the order redacted the percentage of the monetary sanctions the whistleblower would collect, the final amount was “almost $4 million.”
According to the SEC press release, the whistleblower had industry-specific knowledge and expertise, which is helpful to the SEC and can help it go through the process more efficiently.
The nearly-$4-million award brings the total amount awarded to whistleblowers to over $153 million since the program’s inception in 2011. The total amount has been shared by 42 whistleblowers. Some of the highest awards include $30 million in 2014, $20 million in 2016, and $22 million also in 2016.
According to the SEC, the tips provided by various whistleblowers have resulted in almost $1 billion in financial remedies, a large amount given that the program was established a little over five years ago.
The Dodd-Frank Act established the whistleblower program in 2011, and it entices “whistleblowers” to come forth and help the SEC identify possible fraud and other violations much earlier than might have been possible, consequently reducing harm to investors, preserving the integrity of U.S. capital markets, and swiftly holding perpetrators of unlawful conduct accountable, according to the SEC Office of the Whistleblower website.
Additionally, the Act offers confidentiality, protection from retaliation, and rewards fraud tipsters for reporting wrongdoing that leads to an SEC enforcement action in which over $1 million in sanctions is ordered. The award can range anywhere from 10 to 30 percent of the sanctions, according to the website.
Confidentiality is an important aspect of the whistleblower process. Without it, some whistleblower might be black-balled by the industry. Even the SEC order, publicly available, redacts and eliminates all references to the whistleblowers and any facts that might indicate their identity.
Scott L. Silver, managing partner of the Silver Law Group, was an early proponent of the legislation and authored a primer on the SEC Whistleblower Program. Our legal team includes David R. Chase, a former SEC prosecutor now working to protect whistleblowers.
Silver Law Group and The Law Firm of David R. Chase are committed to the protection of whistleblowers through the whistleblower claim process and can prosecute your whistleblower claims. If you have questions about your legal rights as a whistleblower, please contact Scott Silver of the Silver Law Group for a free consultation at firstname.lastname@example.org or toll free at (800) 975-4345.