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OSC awards over half a million to three whistleblowers

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The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) has awarded a total of CAD $585,000 to three whistleblowers, each of whom provided timely, specific and credible information that helped advance enforcement action resulting in monetary payments to the OSC.

The whistleblowers included company outsiders who provided Enforcement Staff with specialized technical analysis on a complex area of securities law that led to the opening of an investigation, and that broadened an existing investigation. The whistleblowers’ detailed information brought to light violations of Ontario securities law that would have otherwise been difficult to detect, and it allowed Staff to proceed more expeditiously. In addition, each whistleblower provided extensive and ongoing assistance to Staff, participating in multiple meetings and providing further evidence and contributions to advance investigations.

“The information provided by all three whistleblowers was highly specific and enabled Enforcement Staff to zero in on underlying violations of Ontario securities law,” said Jeff Kehoe, Director of Enforcement at the OSC. “We will continue to recognize individuals who provide us with specialized technical analysis that leads to 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 more than $8.6 million to whistleblowers. It is the first 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.

For more on the OSC’s Whistleblower Program, including award eligibility and how to submit a tip, visit: http://www.officeofthewhistleblower.ca.

The mandate of the OSC is to provide protection to investors from unfair, improper or fraudulent practices, to foster fair and efficient capital markets and confidence in the capital markets, 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.gov.on.ca.

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Regulator Information

Abbreviation: OSC
Jurisdiction: Canada

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