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SEC Releases Annual Report of Whistleblower Program: Program Continues to Prove Long-Term Success for Securities Enforcement

  • November 18, 2019

The SEC has released its 2019 Annual Report to Congress on the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program. Since the program’s inception, tips received through the SEC Whistleblower Program have contributed to successful enforcement actions that enabled the Commission to recover more than $2 billion in monetary sanctions, almost $500 million of which has been, or is scheduled to be, returned to harmed investors.

Key statistics from the FY 2019 SEC Annual Report include:

  • Since its inception, the SEC has awarded over $387 million to 67 individuals through its whistleblower program.
  • In FY 2019 award amounts slowed from the previous year, with $60 million awarded to 8 individuals, including the third largest award to date at $37 million (compared to FY 2018 in which the Commission awarded a record-breaking $168 million to 13 individuals).
  • Over 5200 whistleblower tips were filed in FY 2019 – a 74% percent increase since FY 2012.
  • During FY 2019, California, Pennsylvania, New York, Texas, and Florida yielded the highest number of whistleblower tips.
  • In FY 2019, the most common SEC complaint categories reported by whistleblowers were Corporate Disclosures and Financials (21%), Offering Fraud (13%), and Manipulation (10%).
  • Notably, Crypto Currency was added as an allegation type in the last quarter of FY 2018. As proof of how nimble and powerful the program is, this new category ranked as the fourth highest allegation type (6%), with 300 tips relating to cryptocurrencies received in FY 2019.
  • Labaton Sucharow represented nearly half of the courageous whistleblowers whose tips brought forth SEC enforcement actions as highlighted in the Commission’s report.
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