SEC Awards Compliance Officer Million Dollar Whistleblower Bounty

April 22, 2015

On April 22, 2015, the Securities And Exchange Commission announced it was awarding to a compliance professional a whistleblower award of between $1.4 and $1.6 million. According to the SEC's Press Release "SEC Announces Million-Dollar Whistleblower Award to Compliance Office," the compliance officer: 

had a reasonable basis to believe that disclosure to the SEC was necessary to prevent imminent misconduct from causing substanital harm to the company or investors.

The Press Release asserts that this is only the second award made to an internal audit/compliance employee. Apparently a second Claimant's request for an award was denied in the underlying matter.

READ: In the Matter of the Claim for Award (Order, '34 Act Release 74781; Whistleblowing Award Proc. File No. 2015-2 / April 22, 2015).

Bill Singer's Comment

In light of my recent Blog: "SEC Whistleblower Program Is A Black Hole Of Despair," I don't want to rain on anyone's parade, so I will limit my comments about today's announcement.  

The  SEC Order indicates that in December 2014, this compliance officer's claim was subject to both a Preliminary Determination by the SEC's Claims Review Staff and a waiver by the Claimant of any contest/appeal. By my calendar, the SEC has inexplicably managed to spend over four months waiting to issue a final Order approving an uncontested CRS recommendation  Hopefully, the Claimant and his/her lawyers have been paid or will be paid soon. 

Similarly, I hope that the matter that I am handling and I griped about in "SEC Whistleblower Program Is A Black Hole Of Despair," will enjoy a similar resolution replete with payment before the end of this year . . . or perhaps 2016?

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