On April 16, 2020, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced a $27 million whistleblower award, its largest award of 2020 and the sixth-highest whistleblower award since the inception of its whistleblower program in 2012. Twelve days later, the SEC announced another large whistleblower award of $18 million. With more than $450 million awarded to whistleblowers and dozens of related enforcement actions since 2012, there is no doubt that the program works to induce employees to report alleged corporate misconduct. The open question is whether the COVID-19 crisis and its related impact on corporate revenues, expenses, and employee health and safety will lead to a new wave of whistleblower complaints and a resulting surge in investigations by the SEC and others. The answer, almost undoubtedly, is yes.
‘Enforcement 40’ for 2020
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