Top 10 Whistleblower Awards of 2022
Whistleblower statutes are meant to incentivize individuals with inside information to step forward and they’re working better than ever with hundreds of millions of dollars in whistleblower awards going to individuals who blow the whistle the right way. In fact, in 2022, one courageous individual received over $100 million whistleblower award alone. 2022 was a significant year for whistleblowers who once again played a vital role in recouping billions of government dollars.
Although there’s a variety of programs and the most often invoked False Claims Act to blow the whistle on fraud against the government which resulted in the most frequent whistleblower awards, the Top 10 list features a high frequency of SEC whistleblower awards. You’ll note that under the SEC whistleblower program there was an aggregate of over $170 million given to ANONYMOUS SEC whistleblowers. That’s right these individuals were able to take the money and with the use of an SEC whistleblower lawyer keep their identity shielded. Under the Dodd-Frank SEC Whistleblower Program, this is another facet of the program that understands well placed Wall Street sources may need some assurances of confidentiality to bring an end to unlawful practice.
Here’s a list of the Top Ten publicly-announced whistleblower awards of 2022 revealed to date, totaling roughly $470 million in payments in whistleblower awards. Notably, this year’s top award of $266.4 million, paid to former Biogen executive VP Michael Bawduniak for exposing pharmaceutical company’s illegal kickbacks, is the largest ever paid to an individual whistleblower and the result of protracted non-intervened litigation, but patience paid.
The majority of the Top Ten awards were made under the SEC Whistleblower Program, which is clearly not a passing fad. Financial fraud remains prevalent, and we expect to see more significant SEC whistleblower awards in the years to come. The SEC whistleblower program covers a broad range of violations that are related to securities laws. This includes insider trading, which occurs when someone uses confidential information to make trades in securities that are not available to the public. It also includes accounting fraud, which is the intentional misrepresentation of financial information to deceive investors, creditors, or other stakeholders.
Other types of misconduct that can be reported through the SEC whistleblower program include market manipulation, Ponzi schemes, bribery, and other violations of the securities laws. In general, any violation of the Securities Act of 1933, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, or the Investment Company Act of 1940 can be reported through the SEC whistleblower program.
The Top Ten whistleblower awards also demonstrate that there is still big money in healthcare fraud. Two of the largest awards went to whistleblowers reporting healthcare fraud under the False Claims Act. As the government continues to spend huge dollars on healthcare, enforcement officials continue to take aim at it, and we expect to see more whistleblowers rewarded for reporting fraud in the healthcare system.
It’s important to note that not all whistleblower awards are publicly announced, so there may be significant whistleblower awards from 2022 that are not on this list. Whistleblowers must work with experienced whistleblower attorneys to obtain the maximum possible reward for their disclosures.
Here are the Top 10 Publicly Reported Whistleblower Rewards of 2022 (as of this writing):
- Anonymous SEC Whistleblower – $13 Million: This undisclosed whistleblower prompted the SEC’s investigation into an ongoing fraud. SEC Whistleblower cases can be filed anonymously through the use of an SEC whistleblower attorney.
- Anonymous SEC Whistleblower – $14 Million: This undisclosed whistleblower was the first to expose fraud through an online report and emailing the allegations to an SEC Enforcement Attorney.
- Anonymous SEC Whistleblowers – $16 Million: Two undisclosed whistleblowers provided key information that caused the SEC to open its investigation and continued to provide key witnesses and information.
- Anonymous SEC Whistleblower – $17 Million: This undisclosed whistleblower prompted the SEC to investigate the underlying conduct related to securities violations.
- Anonymous SEC Whistleblower – $20 Million: This undisclosed whistleblower received an award for providing helpful new information related to securities violations.
- Anonymous SEC Whistleblower – $20 Million: This undisclosed whistleblower provided significant information and continuing helpful assistance in the Commission’s investigation related to securities violations.
- False Claims Act Whistleblowers / AKS Violations – $29.6 Million: Three whistleblowers shared in this False Claims Act recovery over allegations that pharmaceutical company Mallinckrodt failed to pay amounts it owed under the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program, and subsidized copayments to induce Medicare-reimbursed drug purchases in violation of the Anti-Kickback Statute.
- Anonymous SEC Whistleblowers – $37 Million: Two undisclosed whistleblowers received a combined award for voluntarily providing key evidence to the government related to securities violations.
- Anonymous SEC Whistleblower – $37 Million: This undisclosed whistleblower reported securities violations under the SEC Whistleblower Program and received an award. A portion of the award originated from a recovery in a related action by a different enforcement agency.
- Biogen Whistleblower – $266.4 Million: Former Biogen executive VP Michael Bawduniak received a record-shattering award for exposing that the pharmaceutical company paid illegal kickbacks to induce physicians to prescribe Biogen’s multiple sclerosis drugs.
As you can see, whistleblowers who blew the whistle the right way with the right whistleblower law firm were handsomely rewarded. Whistleblower Law Firms like Brown, LLC are uniquely poised to assist individuals in blowing the whistle. They have a track record of success, they handle cases all across the country and have an office in Wall Street West (Jersey City by the PATH) in case individuals want to meet in a discreet manner, and are led by a former Department of Justice Special Agent and Legal Advisor for the FBI, and are only paid if they win. Even if you don’t take advantage of the free, confidential consultation Brown, LLC has to offer, you should look for a firm like theirs that focuses on protecting whistleblowers, as the practice is very nuanced, and you only have on chance to make a first impression with your case, and a bad first impression may destroy the matter before it begins.