OSC awards $1.5 million to whistleblower

For Immediate Release OSC Enforcement

TORONTO – The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) issued an award of CAD $1,500,000 to a whistleblower who provided information which allowed the OSC to act swiftly to protect investors from harm.

The whistleblower was an insider and submitted very specific and discrete non-public information to the OSC that broadened the scope of an existing investigation and contributed to the successful enforcement action.

“The whistleblower had access to valuable information regarding early-stage misconduct that was critical to our ability to quickly respond and protect investors from further harm,” said Jeff Kehoe, Director of Enforcement at the OSC. “Internal whistleblowers can play a critical role in identifying harmful misconduct at an early stage that would be almost impossible to detect without their assistance. We will continue to build upon our successes to strengthen this enforcement tool.”

The OSC Whistleblower Program offers protections for individuals who come forward with information about potential violations of Ontario securities law and awards up to $5 million for tips that lead to successful enforcement action. Examples of violations of Ontario securities law include illegal insider trading, abusive short selling, and corporate disclosure violations. Since its launch, the Program has awarded more than $10 million. Confidentiality is a cornerstone of the Program; details of each case are kept strictly confidential, and all reasonable efforts are made to protect a whistleblower’s identity.

The Program is seeking more tips containing non-public information, including from whistleblowers who may be involved in misconduct, and is also appealing for tips about novel and emerging issues in securities regulation. Issues of interest include greenwashing, misconduct by accounting firms related to their audits of reporting issuers, and misuse of both algorithms and artificial intelligence. 

Tips can be submitted online to www.oscwhistleblower.ca and potential or existing whistleblowers with questions can call the Program’s confidential hotline at 1-888-OSC-5553 (1-888-672-5553).

Visit the OSC’s website to learn more about the Program.

The mandate of the OSC is to provide protection to investors from unfair, improper or fraudulent practices, to foster fair, efficient and competitive capital markets and confidence in the capital markets, to foster capital formation, and to contribute to the stability of the financial system and the reduction of systemic risk. Investors are urged to check the registration of any persons or company offering an investment opportunity and to review the OSC investor materials available at https://www.osc.ca.

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