Record $279 Million SEC Whistleblower Award will Deter Future Fraud
On May 5, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced a $279 million whistleblower award, the largest in SEC Whistleblower Program history. The awarded whistleblower provided information and assistance that led to a successful SEC enforcement action and related actions by other agencies.
“Fraudsters beware. With news about this award spreading through Wall Street, whistleblowers will turn you in,” said leading whistleblower attorney Stephen M. Kohn, founding partner of Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto and author of the forthcoming book Rules for Whistleblowers: A Handbook for Doing What’s Right.
“Large rewards deter frauds,” continued Kohn. “Executives in the C-Suite need to understand that well-placed insiders are now incentivized to report fraud. The amount of this award is historic. But that is what is needed in the face of billion-dollar frauds, ripping off taxpayers, investors, and consumers.”
“A great day for oversight and accountability,” added Kohn. “It is about time that the ‘good guy’ win.”
Through the SEC Whistleblower Program, qualified whistleblowers, individuals who voluntarily disclose original information that leads to a successful enforcement action, are entitled to monetary awards of 10-30% of the funds collected by the government in the case.
“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,” said Gurbir S. Grewal, Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement. “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.”
Latest News & Insights
May 30, 2023
Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto partners Michael Kohn, Stephen M. Kohn, David Colapinto, and Mary Jane Wilmoth, as well as Of Counsel Allison Herren Lee, are all recognized as among the 2023 Lawdragon 500 Leading Plaintiff Financial Lawyers. Lawdragon introduced the 2023 list on May 26. “This remarkable group of lawyers ...
May 30, 2023
This piece orignally appeared in the National Law Review. Released in December 2021, the “United States Strategy on Countering Corruption,” affirms the critical role whistleblowers need to play in fighting international corruption. Unfortunately, most federal agencies – all of which are bound by the Strategy – have not gotten the ...
May 24, 2023
This article originally appeared in JD Supra. When President Biden signed the Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Whistleblower Improvement Act on December 29th, 2022, the Treasury Department had its work cut out for them. In the shadow of the highly successful Securities and Exchange (SEC) and Commodity Futures Trading Commissions (CFTC), the new program is expected to process ...
May 22, 2023
Legal protections for FBI whistleblowers are “radically deficient” and leave FBI agents extremely vulnerable to retaliation without due process, according to leading whistleblower attorney Stephen M. Kohn of Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto. Kohn, who has represented numerous FBI whistleblowers, appeared on Fox News to discuss FBI whistleblower protections following recent House testimony by FBI whistleblowers. ...
Subscribe for News & Resources
Receive exclusive updates and news from our firm.