INDIANAPOLIS (Aug. 19, 2016) – Today, Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson awarded the first whistleblower award in the state of Indiana. The award of $95,000 was to an informant who provided the office with information on JP Morgan, which ultimately lead to a settlement of $950,000. The whistleblower received the maximum amount allowed under Indiana law, which is 10 percent of total monetary sanctions imposed.
“This case is the perfect example of why the whistleblower statue is in place,” said Secretary Lawson. “Without this individual coming forward, the office would not have uncovered this issue and Hoosiers would still be at risk. Thanks to Indiana law, we are able to provide a safe environment for individuals to come forth and protect Hoosiers from wrongful securities practices.”
In October 2014 a whistleblower, through an attorney, contacted the Secretary of State’s office with executive level information that outlined numerous disclosure violations and helped build a strong case against JP Morgan. The whistleblower exposed JP Morgan for putting its interests before its clients. The whistleblower spent countless hours working to provide sensitive and important information to build the case against JP Morgan. The individual even flew to Indianapolis at their own expense to conduct a recorded interview and to answer investigator questions.
The whistleblower revealed that clients of JP Morgan whom invested funds into a discretionary account were not properly informed about additional options outside of JP Morgan. As a result, JP Morgan reached a settlement with the state of Indiana for the amount of $950,000. The whistleblower has been rewarded $95,000, the maximum amount allowed under Indiana law.
“It is often hard for individuals within the industry to come forward for fear of financial hardship or being blackballed,” said Indiana Securities Commissioner Alex Glass. “This law allows us to keep identities confidential and to provide an incentive for those who help us take down bad actors.”
Indiana is one of only two states with a securities whistleblower statute. Enacted in 2012, the statute encourages and protects individuals who bring potential violations of the Indiana Uniform Securities Act to the office. If the information provided leads to a successful enforcement action, that individual can request an award valued at up to 10 percent of total monetary sanctions imposed in the action. The goal of the statute is to protect Hoosiers by allowing the office to receive information that it would have not otherwise uncovered through an investigation.
Individuals with information on securities violations can contact the Indiana Secretary of State’s Securities Division at 317-232-6681. Hoosiers can find information on how to protect themselves from financial fraud on www.indianamoneywise.com.