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SEC Whistleblower Awarded $3.8 Million for Contributions to Successful Enforcement Action

Yesterday, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced a $3.8 million whistleblower award to an individual who assisted in enforcement.

As a result of the whistleblower’s reporting, millions of dollars were returned to harmed investors.

“Whistleblowers are essential to keeping waste, fraud, and abuse out of the private sector,” said whistleblower attorney Stephen M. Kohn, partner at the qui tam law firm Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto. “Strong whistleblower laws like the Dodd-Frank Act allow individuals to come forward with information of crimes without having to risk being retaliated against.”

Under the Dodd-Frank Act, SEC whistleblowers can remain anonymous and confidential throughout the process of applying for an award. The SEC protects whistleblowers’ identities and does not disclose any information about claimants who receive whistleblower awards.

Whistleblowers whose disclosures lead to a successful enforcement action of $1 million or more in sanctions can become eligible for 10-30% of the monies collected. The SEC Whistleblower Office has awarded over $500 million to whistleblowers since its inception in 2012.

“Today’s award underscores the paramount role the SEC’s whistleblower program plays in safeguarding the Main Street investor. Since the beginning of the program nearly ten years ago, the SEC has ordered more than $2.5 billion in financial remedies based on whistleblower information, including more than $1.4 billion in disgorgement and prejudgment interest, of which almost $750 million has been returned or is scheduled to be returned to harmed investors,” said Jane Norberg, Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower.

Ben Kostyack also contributed to this article.

Copyright Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto, LLP 2020. All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume X, Number 197


About this Author

Mary Jane Wilmoth KKC  managing partner  whistleblower protection, environmental and nuclear industry whistleblowers, Qui Tam/False Claims whistleblowers.
Managing Partner

Mary Jane Wilmoth is the firm’s managing partner, and works closely with the partners at KKC, specializing in environmental and nuclear whistleblower protection, Qui Tam/False Claims litigation, and labor and employment law. She joined the firm in 1992, and works on cases and hearings that involve complex nuclear and environmental regulations. In her efforts to assure such safeguards are upheld in the American workplace, she has helped to strengthen whistleblower rights in licensing and enforcement proceedings with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. She has also defended whistleblowers at...