OSC awards nearly half a million dollars to whistleblower

For Immediate Release OSC

TORONTO – The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) has awarded approximately $481,000 to a whistleblower for information and assistance that led to a successful OSC enforcement action.

The whistleblower, who was an insider of the organization, submitted highly detailed information and valuable insights. Throughout the OSC’s investigation and proceeding, they provided ongoing helpful assistance, including responding to requests for further information. The contribution of this whistleblower demonstrates how the OSC Whistleblower Program continues to secure information from whistleblowers that could not otherwise be obtained.

“The whistleblower’s cooperation and assistance allowed the OSC to collaborate with other regulators to obtain additional evidence. The important information they provided fueled our investigation into wrongdoing and helped us deliver strong and timely enforcement action that protected investors from further harm,” said Jeff Kehoe, Director of Enforcement at the OSC. “The success of our Program is predicated on the courage of whistleblowers who make the decision to be heard. We applaud and appreciate their resolve.”

The OSC Whistleblower Program, launched in 2016, is the first and only paid program of its kind run by a Canadian securities regulator. The Program has awarded $9.33 million to whistleblowers.  Tips from around the globe have led to successful enforcement action against 19 respondents and approximately $48 million in monetary sanctions and voluntary payments to date, among other sanctions. Whistleblowers who submit original information about violations of Ontario securities law may be eligible for awards of up to $5 million.

Tips that are most likely to result in successful enforcement action leading to monetary awards are made up of high-quality, timely, specific and credible information and often include some form of analysis. Many whistleblowers submit tips on their own and others submit tips anonymously through counsel. In some cases, counsel assists whistleblowers with analysis or to clarify allegations. Given the increasingly global nature of capital markets, the OSC sees meaningful tips come in from across Canada, the U.S. and around the globe.

Confidentiality is a cornerstone of the Program, and all reasonable efforts are made to ensure that a whistleblower’s identity is protected. 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).

On March 9, 2023, the OSC published an update on the OSC Whistleblower Program to show how whistleblowers drive its success and the critical value they bring to advancing the OSC’s enforcement efforts. It tells the story of the Program based on the first five fiscal years of operation. To learn more about the Program or to read the Update please visit the OSC’s website.

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 person or company offering an investment opportunity and to review the OSC investor materials available at http://www.osc.ca.

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