The Securities and Exchange Commission reports that fiscal 2021 was a record-breaking year for its whistleblower program, according to ThinkAdvisor.
The SEC released its annual report to Congress on the program and said it made more whistleblower awards this year than in all prior years combined. About $564 million was awarded to 108 individuals, the largest dollar amount and the most individuals awarded in one fiscal year.
The commission says assistance from whistleblowers who know of possible securities law violations can help to identify possible fraud and other violations much earlier than might otherwise have been possible.
From the time the program began in 2011 through 2020, 106 whistleblowers were awarded about $562 million.
In the report, Emily Pasquinelli, acting chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower, said the program is a vital tool in the agency’s ability to detect securities law violations and protect investors and the marketplace.
“We recognize and applaud the courage and commitment of the hundreds of whistleblowers who submitted valuable information under the SEC’s whistleblower program, and we anticipate that the awards made in FY 2021 will continue to incentivize others to come forward promptly and report high-quality information regarding possible securities laws violations to the Commission,” said Pasquinelli.
She said the program received over 12,000 whistleblower tips during the 2021 fiscal year, representing an increase of over 76% from 2020. In addition, the SEC made its two largest awards to date, of $114 million each.
The most common violations reported by whistleblowers in 2021 were manipulation, corporate disclosures and financials, offering fraud, and trading and pricing.
The securities fraud attorneys at Lewitas Hyman have decades of experience dealing with securities fraud cases and have a deep understanding of how capital markets and financial service firms are intended to work to protect investors. If you think your financial professional or firm engaged in misconduct that caused you investment losses, contact us for a free consultation at (312) 291-4600 or through our online contact form.