Award of $40 million among SEC’s ten highest awards ever
Washington, DC, January 3, 2023— Phillips and Cohen clients won the largest whistleblower award in 2022, totaling $40 million. The aggregate award concerns a single SEC whistleblower submission made by two Phillips & Cohen clients who filed jointly. Their single submission prompted enforcement actions by the SEC and resulted in an aggregate award that is among the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) top ten highest awards since the beginning of its whistleblower program, which was established by the Dodd-Frank Act in 2010.
In January 2022, the joint whistleblowers received an award of $37 million in February and in April 2022 an additional, related award of $3 million, bringing the total award to $40 million for the enforcement actions.
“Our clients risked their livelihoods to bring information to the SEC and we are pleased the SEC took aggressive action. Their award stands as the largest of 2022 and one of the top ten largest in the history of the SEC’s whistleblower program,” said Erika Kelton, a partner and attorney at Phillips & Cohen LLP.
The award is also likely is the largest SEC award made to international whistleblowers so far.
Phillips and Cohen remains the most successful whistleblower law firm, with 14 awards under the Dodd-Frank Act.
The SEC is required by law to keep a whistleblower’s identity confidential, with certain limited exceptions. When announcing whistleblower awards, the SEC provides only the reward amount to avoid providing any information that might help identify the whistleblower.
CONFIDENTIALITY, PROTECTIONS AND REWARDS
The SEC whistleblower program, created by the Dodd-Frank Act, provides confidentiality, certain protections against job retaliation, and rewards in cases where monetary sanctions exceed $1 million. Whistleblower rewards range from 10% to 30% of the amount the government collects, based on certain factors, such as the significance of the whistleblower’s information and the level of assistance the whistleblower and their attorney provide in the case.
According to the recently published Annual Report of the SEC Office of the Whistleblower, enforcement actions stemming from whistleblower tips resulted in orders for more than $6.3 billion in total monetary sanctions in the fiscal year 2022, including more than $4.0 billion in disgorgement of ill-gotten gains and interest, of which more than $1.5 billion will be or has been returned to harmed investors.
ABOUT PHILLIPS & COHEN LLP
Phillips & Cohen represents whistleblowers in SEC whistleblower claims as well as False Claims Act qui tam lawsuits and the whistleblower reward programs of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Internal Revenue Service, the anti-money laundering whistleblower program, and the kleptocracy asset recovery whistleblower program. Its roster includes attorneys with decades of experience representing whistleblowers as well as the founding Chief of the SEC Office of the Whistleblower.