Notwithstanding the current COVID-19 crisis, the Securities & Exchange Commission has continued to award numerous multi-million-dollar bounties under its Dodd-Frank whistleblower program.
Since January 21, 2020, when the CDC confirmed the first case of COVID-19 in the United States, the SEC has issued 12 whistleblower awards totaling approximately $64 million. Some of the highlights of these awards include:
- A $7 million award on February 28, 2020 to a whistleblower who provided “extensive and sustained assistance, such as identifying witnesses.”
- A $450,000 award on March 30, 2020 to a whistleblower who had compliance-related responsibilities. Notably, the award was the SEC’s third whistleblower award to an individual who had such duties.
- A $27 million award on April 16, 2020 to a whistleblower who alerted the agency to misconduct occurring in part overseas. The award was the SEC’s sixth largest award in the program’s history.
- A $5 million award on April 20, 2020 to a whistleblower who “suffered a unique hardship as a result of raising concerns internally.”
- An $18 million award on April 28, 2020 to a whistleblower who repeatedly reported the problem internally before contacting the SEC. The award was the SEC’s ninth largest award in the program’s history.
Since issuing its first award in 2012, the SEC has awarded over $450 million to 82 individuals, and the Commission shows no signs of slowing down in the face of the global COVID-19 pandemic.