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Office of the Whistleblower 2018 Annual Report: Record-breaking Year for the Program

  • January 18, 2019
  • SEC

The SEC has released its 2018 Annual Report to Congress on the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program, detailing a record breaking year. Labaton Sucharow’s Whistleblower Representation Practice contributed largely to this success by representing the whistleblowers that were awarded $83 million, the largest award in the history of the program, for providing information that led to the successful $415 million enforcement action against Merrill Lynch. In all, the practice has helped the SEC recover more than $1 billion in monetary sanctions as a result of its clients’ whistleblower tips.

Key statistics from the FY 2018 Annual Report include:

  • Since its inception, the SEC has awarded over $326 million to 59 individuals through its whistleblower program.
  • In FY 2018, a total of $168 million has been awarded to 13 individuals.
  • The largest ever award of $83 million was shared by 3 individuals.
  • Over 5200 whistleblower tips were filed in FY 2018 – a nearly 76% percent increase since FY 2012.
  • During FY 2018, the Office of the Whistleblower (“OWB”) returned nearly 2,770 phone calls from members of the public. Since the hotline was established, OWB has returned over 21,380 calls from the public.
  • During FY 2018, California, New York, Florida, Texas and New Jersey yielded the highest number of whistleblower tips.
  • In FY 2018, the most common complaint categories reported by whistleblowers were Offering Fraud (20%), Corporate Disclosures and Financials (19%), and Manipulation (12%).
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