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Landmark SEC Awards

At Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto, we have successfully represented a number of SEC whistleblowers, preserving their anonymity and securing sizable whistleblower rewards. In one case, we helped our client receive one of the ten largest whistleblower awards ever granted by the SEC.

A key aspect of the SEC Whistleblower Program’s success is that it offers anonymity to whistleblowers. In order to protect whistleblowers’ anonymity, the SEC does not reveal any identifying information about award recipients. Correspondingly, we do not disclose which specific awards were granted to our clients.

In order to file a SEC whistleblower disclosure anonymously, an individual must be represented by an attorney. In addition to allowing a whistleblower to proceed anonymously, an experienced SEC whistleblower attorney can help a whistleblower navigate the entire SEC whistleblowing process, ensuring that they receive the largest award possible.

Each of the ten largest SEC awards were sizable awards granted to whistleblowers who exposed large-scale securities violations. The top ten awards were all for at least $30 million, the top five were all for at least $50 million, and the two largest even topped $100 million.

Through the SEC Whistleblower Program, qualified whistleblowers are entitled to awards for 10-30% of the funds collected by the government in an enforcement action which utilized information shared by the whistleblower. To qualify for an award, a whistleblower must voluntarily provide original information that contributes to an enforcement action which results in at least $1 million in sanctions and penalties.

The top ten SEC awards demonstrate that the SEC is committed to rewarding whistleblowers who provide specific, credible, and timely information about securities law violations. The final orders for the awards also highlight the factors weighed by the SEC in determining the exact percentage for an award. These include the significance of the information, the degree of further assistance provided by the whistleblower, and the law enforcement interest in the underlying violations.

While the SEC is committed to rewarding deserving whistleblowers, the SEC whistleblowing process can be complex. An experienced SEC whistleblower attorney can help guide a whistleblower through the entire process, filing the proper paperwork, making sure that whistleblower provides the SEC with the best possible information, and serving as a liaison between the agency and the whistleblower.

At Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto we have an unparalleled understanding of the intricacies of the SEC Whistleblower Program, having worked closely with SEC Commissioners throughout the program’s rulemaking process, from the program’s inception in 2010 up to current proposed reforms. Our expertise in the area is reflected by the numerous SEC reward cases we have prevailed in, including one of the ten largest awards in the program’s history.