On November 30, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Office of the Whistleblower posted 18 new Notices of Covered Actions (NoCAs). Each NoCA relates to a recent SEC enforcement action and signals that individuals may now submit whistleblower award claims for the cases.
Through the SEC Whistleblower Program, qualified whistleblowers, individuals who voluntarily provide original information about securities fraud that leads to a successful enforcement action, are entitled to monetary awards of 10-30% of the funds collected by the SEC in the enforcement action.
One of the NoCAs that the SEC posted covers a recent enforcement action taken against Kim Kardashian. The SEC charged Kardashian with unlawfully touting a crypto security on social media. According to the SEC, Kardashian “failed to disclose that she was paid $250,000 to publish a post on her Instagram account about EMAX tokens, the crypto asset security being offered by EthereumMax.” Kardashian agreed to pay $1.26 million in penalties, disgorgement, and interest to settle the charges.
A number of the NoCAs posted by the SEC relate to the series of enforcement actions filed by the SEC against more than a dozen broker-dealers charging the entities with widespread recordkeeping failures. In total, the broker-dealers, which include Deutsche Bank, Barclays and Cantor Fitzgerald, agreed to pay over $1.1 billion in penalties.
Another NoCA covers the SEC’s recent enforcement action against the Chinese affiliate of the Deloitte global network of accounting firms. The SEC charged the affiliate with “failing to comply with fundamental U.S. auditing requirements in its component audits of U.S. issuers and its audits of foreign companies listed on U.S. exchanges.” Deloitte-China agreed to pay a $20 million penalty.
In its recent annual report, the SEC revealed that it received a record 12,300 whistleblower tips in Fiscal Year 2022 and issued 103 whistleblower awards totaling $229 million. Overall, since the whistleblower program was established in 2010, it has paid more than $1.3 billion in 328 whistleblower awards.