SEC awards record $14 million payment in whistleblower lawsuit settlement

by Jay Pate

An anonymous whistleblower will receive a settlement of more than $14 million as part of a lawsuit filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission, the agency has revealed. The payout is the largest ever awarded in the SEC’s history.

In a press release announcing the settlement, the SEC declined to provide information about the precise nature of the case for which the $14 million award was issued. The agency said that the whistleblower who originally brought the case to its attention had indicated that they wished to remain anonymous.

According to the SEC, qui tam settlement awards are available to whistleblowers who provide information that leads to a settlement of more than $1 million. Although the agency declined to reveal the final settlement amount in this case, the SEC’s statement that “awards can range from 10 percent to 30 percent of the money collected in a case” puts the total settlement amount at between $46 and $140 million.

The SEC lawsuit was filed under the 2010 Dodd-Frank banking law, which contained provisions to prevent banking fraud and other financial wrongdoing. The law was passed in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis to strengthen the nation’s financial infrastructure and prevent a similar crisis from taking place in the future.

Whistleblowers may be entitled to receive a portion of settlements

The SEC’s $14 million payout to the anonymous whistleblower was made under a form of legal settlements known as qui tam lawsuits. Under these cases, whistleblowers who file lawsuits on behalf of the government or who provide information to officials that enables them to file a case are entitled to receive a portion of the final settlement that is reached by the government.

Qui tam whistleblower lawsuits have been filed on behalf of numerous state and federal agencies, including:

  • Defense Department
  • Medicare
  • Medicaid
  • Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
  • Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
  • Treasury Department

Heygood, Orr & Pearson and qui tam lawsuits

If you have been a witness to fraud against federal government agencies such as these, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit on their behalf and receive a portion of any settlements that are made in the case. The lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson represents client who have witnessed fraud first-hand and wish to file a qui tam lawsuit against the corporations or individuals who were responsible.

Heygood, Orr & Pearson has filed numerous commercial lawsuits which have taken on some of the largest and most powerful corporations in America and will work hard to achieve a positive outcome in your case. And our lawyers successfully negotiated a $1.75 million award for a whistleblower in a large tax fraud case.

For a free legal consultation and to find out if you qualify to file a qui tam case, contact the attorneys at Heygood, Orr & Pearson by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001, or by filling out the brief case evaluation form located at the top of this page.

by Jay Pate

John “Jay” Pate is a licensed attorney who focuses his practice on complex tort litigation involving catastrophic personal injury, wrongful death, medical malpractice, and product liability cases.