Whistleblower News & Articles
June 2, 2023
In a monumental development, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced it has issued its largest ever whistleblower award of $279 million. This historic achievement underscores the remarkable success and significance of the SEC’s whistleblower program.
In announcing the award, Gurbir S. Grewal, Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, said:
The size of today’s award – the highest in our program’s history – not only incentivizes whistleblowers to come forward with accurate information about potential securities law violations, but also reflects the tremendous success of our whistleblower program. This success directly benefits investors as whistleblower tips have contributed to enforcement actions resulting in orders requiring bad actors to disgorge more than $4 billion in ill-gotten gains and interest. As this award shows, there is a significant incentive for whistleblowers to come forward with accurate information about potential securities law violations.
The impact of whistleblowers’ accurate information cannot be overstated. It enables the SEC to take proactive measures to stop fraudsters and protect innocent investors. According to the SEC’s Order, the whistleblower provided multiple interviews and written submissions. This played a critical role in the success of the SEC enforcement action (the “Covered Action”) as well as an enforcement action brought by another agentcy (the “Related Action”). The whistleblower’s information did not directly prompt the investigation. It did, however, prove instrumental in expanding the scope of misconduct charged. It also saved the SEC significant time and resources. This highlights the indispensable nature of whistleblowers’ insights. Because they contribute to comprehensive examinations and investigations, they empower the SEC (and other agencies) to take appropriate action against wrongdoers.
Whistleblower awards are funded exclusively through an investor protection fund established by Congress. Monetary sanctions paid by securities law violators fund the awards. As such, no money is taken from harmed investors to compensate whistleblowers. In addition, this financial framework underscores the SEC’s commitment to fairness. Those who expose misconduct are rewarded, but the interests of those affected by such violations are not impacted.
The SEC’s largest-ever whistleblower award also serves as a significant milestone in the fight against securities law violations. Whistleblowers are pivotal in maintaining the integrity of the financial system. In addition, they protect the investments of innocent individuals. By providing incentives and recognizing the invaluable contributions of whistleblowers, the SEC seeks to foster an environment where individuals feel empowered to expose misconduct, ensuring a more transparent and accountable financial landscape for all.
Whistleblower Law Collaborative LLC, based in Boston, devotes its practice entirely to representing clients nationwide in bringing actions under the federal and state whistleblower laws and programs, False Claims Acts and other whistleblower programs. The Whistleblower Law Collaborative has secured awards for clients in several SEC whistleblower cases, including a $17 million award to one whistleblower.
If you are considering submitting a tip, complaint, or referral to the SEC or are aware of other types of fraud, contact us for a free, confidential consultation.