OSC issues whistleblower award totalling nearly a quarter of a million dollars

For Immediate Release OSC Enforcement

TORONTO – The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) has issued an award of $240,000 to joint whistleblowers for information and assistance that led to the opening of a new investigation and resulted in a successful OSC enforcement action.

The whistleblower tip contained detailed independent analysis upfront with specific, timely and credible information, as well as relevant supporting records. The misconduct, which put substantial investor funds at risk, would have been challenging to uncover without the submission. The tip originated from outside of Canada, highlighting the international reach of the OSC Whistleblower Program.

“Whistleblowers, whether they are located in Canada or abroad, play a vital role in exposing misconduct, protecting investors and maintaining the integrity of our financial markets,” said Jeff Kehoe, Director of Enforcement at the OSC. “The comprehensive initial submission was critical in helping OSC staff identify the issue, develop its case and focus its resources from very early on in the investigation. Today’s award demonstrates our steadfast commitment to rewarding whistleblowers who come forward with high-quality and timely information resulting in successful enforcement actions.”

Robust whistleblower protections are built into the OSC’s Whistleblower Program. The details of each case are kept strictly confidential, and all reasonable efforts are made to ensure a whistleblower’s identity is protected.

Since its launch in July 2016, the OSC’s Whistleblower Program has awarded nearly $9 million to whistleblowers. It is the first and only program of its kind in Canada. The Program accepts tips on possible violations of Ontario securities law, offers protections for individuals who come forward, as well as compensation of up to $5 million for tips that lead to enforcement action. Examples of violations of Ontario securities law include illegal insider trading or tipping, abusive short selling and corporate disclosure violations. The Whistleblower Program accepts tips from individuals located across Canada and from around the globe. For more information about the OSC Whistleblower Program, including about how to report a tip, visit www.oscwhistleblower.ca.

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 http://www.osc.ca.

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