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SEC Awards a Record $279 Million to Whistleblower

SEC Awards a Record $279 Million to Whistleblower

by Starling Insights

Starling Insights Editorial Board

May 15, 2023


The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently announced a record-breaking award of almost $279 million to an unidentified whistleblower for providing information that led to a successful enforcement action by the regulator and two related fines by other agencies. 

While the SEC was already investigating the unnamed company for potential misconduct, it credited the whistleblower's tip with expanding its probe and contributing to related actions by other regulatory agencies. Under SEC rules, whistleblowers can receive 10-30% of the fines collected in SEC civil-enforcement penalties and related actions from other enforcement agencies. The previous highest-ever whistleblower reward, $114 million, was issued in October 2020.

"This award will have a massive chilling effect on Wall Street frauds," said whistleblower attorney Stephen M. Kohn.

Starling recently published "The Era of Accountability," a Deeper Dive supplement to our 2022 Compendium. The report discusses a global trend of employees holding their employer accountable for conduct that does not align with their own values. When a firm's culture does not make employees feel safe to 'speak-up' about concerns internally, or when they feel retaliated against for having done so, they are increasingly prepared to speak out externally. This Deeper Dive is only available here on Starling Insights.

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