The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) recently issued a $50 million whistleblower award—its largest ever since the inception of the SEC Whistleblower Program in 2010. The issuance of this record-breaking award brings the total amount awarded to whistleblowers by the SEC to over $500 million. Prior to this recent award, the previous record was a $39 million award issued in 2018. The SEC has issued awards to 13 separate whistleblowers this fiscal year alone for a total payout of over $100 million.
The SEC did not identify the enforcement action that gave rise to its record payout. In addition, in an effort to encourage people to come forward with information about fraudulent activities, the SEC does not release the identities of whistleblowers. However, in the order approving the $50 million award, the SEC stated that the whistleblower provided firsthand observations of misconduct by a company that was previously unknown. In addition, over the course of the SEC’s investigation into the company, the whistleblower provided key details that resulted in the return of a significant amount of money to investors who were victimized by the misconduct.
As noted above, the SEC has awarded over $500 million to whistleblowers since the inception of the SEC Whistleblower Program in 2010, and 13 awards have already been issued this year alone. Whistleblowers who provide information that leads to successful enforcement actions are eligible for up to 30 percent of the money collected for amounts over $1 million. In addition, the identities of whistleblowers are kept secret by the SEC. In order for an individual to participate in the SEC Whistleblower Program and be eligible for significant financial compensation, an individual must:
- Have information concerning securities misconduct or fraud that has happened, is happening, or is likely to happen in the future.
- Provide this information to the SEC voluntarily, which means that an individual isn’t eligible for an award if the information he or she provides is pursuant to a subpoena, court order, investigation, or similar non-voluntary method.
- Provide information that leads to an SEC enforcement action with monetary sanctions exceeding $1 million.
Contact Our SEC Whistleblower Attorney Today
If you have original information about securities fraud or misconduct, you may be entitled to a significant financial award from the SEC Whistleblower Program. Specifically, if the information you provide results in a successful SEC enforcement action, you may be eligible to claim up to 30% of the sanctions imposed by the SEC. However, in order to ensure that you are legally protected during this process, you need an experienced SEC whistleblower attorney on your side. At Newman & Shapiro, we understand the personal and professional risks involved with becoming a whistleblower. Therefore, when we take you on as a client, we’ll work diligently to ensure that you obtain the maximum award possible. Please contact us today to schedule a consultation.