OSC awards $300,000 to whistleblower who uncovered complex misconduct

PR Newswire
Wednesday, May 15, 2024 at 3:50pm UTC

OSC awards $300,000 to whistleblower who uncovered complex misconduct

Canada NewsWire

TORONTO, May 15, 2024 /CNW/ - The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) has issued an award of $300,000 to a whistleblower who provided significant and detailed information to the OSC that helped to identify misconduct. The activity of the firm was not consistent with their regulatory obligations and would have been hard to detect by the OSC without the whistleblower coming forward.

The information uncovered misconduct and provided the OSC with valuable evidence to inform its actions. The whistleblower's seniority, knowledge and experience led to actionable intelligence being shared with the OSC via the Whistleblower Program. Through this individual's submission, the OSC was alerted to the issue, and was able to ensure the firm took measures to rectify it.

"Actionable information from whistleblowers is critical in the fight against misconduct and in protecting the integrity of our capital markets" said Leslie Byberg, Interim Executive Vice President - Enforcement. "Some misconduct can be difficult to detect without intelligence from those within a firm. This individual's actions directly identified a complex issue that may have otherwise gone unnoticed."

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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SOURCE Ontario Securities Commission