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SEC Pays Over $30M Whistleblower Award in Securities Fraud Case to Informant Living Abroad

The Securities and Exchange Commission said it expects to pay over $30 million to a whistleblower. This is the largest SEC whistleblower award issued under the whistleblower program, which was established under the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act. The agency is keeping the specifics of the case under wraps. However, the regulator acknowledged that the recipient is someone who lives outside the United States.

Under the program, the SEC may give the whistleblower 10 – 30% of the award collected if the information provided was original and substantial enough that it led to the enforcement action and resulted in sanctions of over $1 million.

To date the SEC has issued awards to approximately 15 informations. This informant is the fourth one located overseas.

SEC whistleblower chief Sean McKessy said that this latest award demonstrates the “international breadth” of the program and shows that the agency welcomes tips from “anyone, anywhere,” in its efforts to hold wrongdoers accountable and fight for justice. McKessy noted that people around the globe should see this latest award as incentive to report credible information about possible violations of U.S. securities laws.

The largest SEC whistleblower award prior to this one was $14 million. It involved a Chicago-based scam to bilk foreigners hoping to obtain U.S. residency. Anshoo R. Sethi and two Illinois companies are accused of defrauding 250 investors, mostly from China, of more than $155 million.

The investors thought the U.S.-based venture would qualify them for an immigration program that grants people residency for helping create jobs with their investments. At $14 million, the SEC gave the whistleblower 10% of the $147 million that was recovered for investors.

At Altman & Altman LLP our Massachusetts SEC whistleblower lawyers are here to help individuals bring a whistleblower case against a financial institution or another entity that has bilked the government. To receive part of the recovery, you have to be among, if not the first to come forward with the information exposing the fraud. The sooner you begin exploring your legal options the better.

Our Boston Qui Tam lawyers know that coming forward to report securities fraud or any other fraud against the government can be an intimidating endeavor. Contact Altman & Altman LLP today for your free case consultation.

SEC Announces Largest-Ever Whistleblower Award, SEC, September 22, 2014

Read the SEC Order (PDF)

SEC Pays $30 Million to Whistle-Blower in Largest Award, Bloomberg, September 22, 2014

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