April 20, 2021

Volume XI, Number 110

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SEC Whistleblowers Located Abroad Receive $5 Million Joint Award

Yesterday, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced a joint whistleblower award of $5 million issued to two individuals who reported fraud occurring overseas.

According to the award order, Claimants 1 and 2 reported original information to the SEC that led the enforcement staff to open an investigation. These SEC whistleblowers provided claims that “directly supported” allegations brought forth in the enforcement action.

The award order also mentioned two other whistleblowers who did not qualify for awards because they did not satisfy the “led to” requirement.

Both U.S. citizens and non-U.S. citizens can file anonymously and confidentially for whistleblower awards with the SEC Whistleblower Office.

The Dodd-Frank Act allows for individuals who witness violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and the Securities Exchange Act to receive awards if they report original information to the SEC in a timely manner. If their reporting leads to successful enforcement actions that result in sanctions exceeding $1 million, the SEC whistleblower can become eligible for awards ranging between 10-30% of the monies collected.

Although many countries lack whistleblower reward laws, non-U.S. citizens can use U.S. laws such as the FCPA to file for whistleblower awards. Using an experienced international whistleblower attorney, whistleblowers from outside of the United States who have witnessed fraud and meet certain requirements can obtain substantial monetary rewards.

Since 2011, over 2,000 non-U.S. citizens from over 100 countries have filed anonymous reward claims with the SEC.

“The whistleblowers’ information alerted the staff to misconduct occurring abroad which could have been difficult to detect without their tip,” said Jane Norberg, Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower. “Whistleblowers from 130 different counties have provided tips to the Commission since the beginning of the program, and we hope this award encourages others with credible information to come forward.”

Since 2012, the SEC has issued approximately $758 million to 142 whistleblowers.

Ben Kostyack also contributed to this article.

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Copyright Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto, LLP 2021. All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume XI, Number 64
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About this Author

Mary Jane Wilmoth Whistleblower Attorney Kohn Kohn & Colapinto Law Firm
Managing Partner

Mary Jane Wilmoth is the firm’s managing partner. She litigated cases involving whistleblower protection for environmental and nuclear industry whistleblowers, and Qui Tam/False Claims whistleblowers. Ms. Wilmoth joined the firm in 1992 and worked on cases and hearings that involved complex nuclear and environmental regulations. In her efforts to uphold such safeguards in the American workplace, she has helped to strengthen whistleblower rights in licensing and...

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