United States: Whistleblower Is Awarded $28 Million in Panasonic Avionics Case

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said it awarded more than $28 million to a whistleblower whose tip helped the regulator and the Justice Department launch investigations that led to bribery charges against a U.S. subsidiary of Japanese electronics company Panasonic Corp. and former executives.

The SEC said the sum is one of the 10 largest awards paid out by its whistleblower program, which was created by the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act.

The regulator, which announced the award Wednesday, didn’t name the company and didn’t identify the tipster, in keeping with its policy. But lawyers representing the whistleblower said the award was connected to 2018 bribery settlements involving Panasonic Avionics Corp., a Lake Forest, Calif.-based unit of Panasonic that makes entertainment and communication systems for aircraft.

The tipster, who isn’t a Panasonic employee, notified the SEC about alleged wrongdoing at the company in countries in Asia and Europe, prompting the regulator to open the investigation, according to the whistleblower’s lawyers, Christopher Connors of Connors Law Group LLC and Andy Rickman of Rickman Law Group LLP.

Under the SEC program, whistleblowers are entitled to between 10% and 30% of monetary penalties when their tips result in a successful enforcement action and when the penalties total more than $1 million.

The original full article can be found at wsj.com

(PHOTO: ANDREW KELLY/REUTERS)

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