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Oct 26, 2021 by |

Los Angeles SEC Whistleblower Attorneys: SEC Passes $1 Billion Mark In Whistleblower Awards

ATTORNEY NEWSLETTER

SEC Whistleblower Awards Now Over $ 1 Billion

Two Whistleblowers Awarded $114 Million For Assisting Investigation

SEC Has Awarded Over 200 Individual Whistleblowers 

Assistance and information from whistleblowers who know of possible securities law violations are among the most powerful weapons in the law enforcement arsenal of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank”), Pub. L. 111-203, created the SEC Whistleblower Office to encourage and reward private individuals who bring information of securities fraud to the agency’s attention.    See Dodd-Frank, 15 U.S.C. § 78a et seq.; Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, Pub. L. 107-204; Securities Act of 1933, 15 U.S.C. § 77a et seq.; Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Exchange Act”), 15 U.S.C. § 78a et seq.; Rule 21F4(d), 17 C.F.R. § 240.21F-4(d)(2). Since creation of the SEC program in 2012 the SEC has now awarded over $1 billion to individual whistleblowers..  If you have credible, original information of securities fraud in California call us today at (415)441-8669 and we can help. Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).

Two Recent SEC Awards[1]

On September 15, 2021, the SEC announced that it had issued two awards under its whistleblower program in the amounts of $110 million and $4 million. The $110 million award is the second largest award under the SEC whistleblower program to date, just falling short of the $114 million award issued in October 2020. Given the SEC’s policy of keeping whistleblowers’ identities secret, the nature of the violations at issue and names of the tipsters were not revealed. However, the SEC noted that the recipient of the $110 million award had “provided significant independent analysis that substantially advanced the SEC’s and the other agency’s investigations,” while the other whistleblower had provided more limited information relating to a matter already under investigation. The disparity highlights the SEC’s calculus in crafting awards, providing greater bounties for those who provide substantial, well-prepared information to the agency.  With these payments, the SEC’s whistleblower program has now paid out over $1 billion to 207 whistleblowers since issuing its first award in 2012. That means the average award under the program is approximately $4.8 million – with several nine-figure payouts in the mix. More strikingly, as of last year, the total awards under the Whistleblower Program (from 2012 through fiscal year 2020) amounted to $500 million. Now, in fiscal year 2021 alone, the SEC has paid out over $500 million in awards, making fiscal 2021 a record-setting year. And it’s not even close. In 2020, the second-highest year for whistleblower awards, the SEC paid out approximately $175 million. Not only are the 2021 SEC awards highly substantial, but the pattern of increasing awards is remarkable. This reflects both a pro-whistleblower administration and a growing private-public partnership in exposing corporate malfeasance. As the SEC’s whistleblower program matures and knowledge of its existence spreads, the program’s ability to remedy securities abuses grows. 

Confidentiality And Retaliation Protections

As set forth in the Dodd-Frank Act, the SEC protects the confidentiality of whistleblowers and does not disclose any information that could reveal a whistleblower’s identity.  The law also protects whistleblowers from employer retaliation for blowing the whistle on securities fraud under the Exchange Act, the Securities Act of 1933, 15 U.S.C. §§ 77a et seq, Rule 10b-5, or any other federal securities law.  See 15 U.S.C. § 78u-6(h)(1); 17 CFR § 240.21F-2; Commission Rule 21F-17(a).  If your employer retaliates against you in violation of the statute, you can bring an action in federal court seeking reinstatement, double back pay with interest, and attorneys’ fees and costs.  15 U.S.C. § 78u-6(h)(1)(B) and (C).  We can represent you in your action for wrongful retaliation as well as in your underlying SEC whistleblower case.

Contact Us

If you have information of securities fraud call Ingrid M. Evans at Evans Law Firm at (415) 441-8669, or by email at <a href=”mailto:info@evanslaw.com”>info@evanslaw.com</a>. Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).

[1] Evans Law Firm, Inc. was not involved in these proceedings in any way.

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