The SEC announced on April 8, 2021 the departure of Jane Norberg, Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower. Ms. Norberg had been with the Office nearly since its inception in 2012, serving as its first Deputy Chief and then as Chief following the departure of Sean McKessy in 2016.
The SEC’s press release highlights a number of milestones achieved during Ms. Norberg’s tenure as Chief of the Office, including:
- The issuance of awards totaling nearly $650 million to more than 110 individual whistleblowers under the SEC’s whistleblower program, including nine of the ten largest awards in the program’s history.
- A record-breaking year during Fiscal Year 2020, in which the number of awards issued to whistleblowers was tripled and the SEC received a record number of whistleblower tips.
- Successful enforcement actions that resulted in orders for more than $3.1 billion in sanctions, including more than $1.8 billion in disgorgement of ill-gotten gains and interest.
- Eight enforcement actions for violations of the provision that prohibits a company or individual from impeding someone’s efforts to report information to the commission (we covered some of those actions here, here, and here), as well as three cases for retaliating against whistleblowers (see our post here).
The SEC also noted that $200 million has been awarded to 40 individuals under the program during the first six months of Fiscal Year 2021, already surpassing the record set in FY2020. This trend shows no sign of slowing down, as demonstrated by the SEC’s announcement on April 9, 2021 that it had awarded $2.5 million to yet another whistleblower under the program.
According to the press release, the Office’s Deputy Chief, Emily Pasquinelli, will serve as Acting Chief following Ms. Norberg’s departure.