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A Million-Dollar Whistle

There is no doubt that our aggressive progression towards a more expansive and productive world has elevated us to a level where the generations before us never even thought of reaching. Our investment in technology has paid dividends in spades, but all this accomplishment has come at a big expense. With technology making space for different activities to take place, it has brought in an increased amount of scrutiny on the industry players. Nowadays, the government authorities are unwaveringly maintaining a watchful eye on these companies, waiting to pounce, if a single misstep is observed. These authorities, in order to match the rate at which companies are improving their systems, have setup different policies that are designed to obligate the organizations into putting forth better accountability. However, it didn’t take long for them to realize that they cannot take care of every facet. Their solution to this problem was the introduction of a whistleblower program. As if all the policies and regulations were not enough, authorities were now encouraging company members or anyone who learns it from outside to report potential wrongdoings happening within the organizations. Unsurprisingly, the whistleblower program instantly became a controversial topic amongst the companies. Such was the dissent that it eventually had to be scrapped. Nevertheless, the program was recently brought back by Biden administration, and it’s already proving to be good news.

In 2019, with the help of a tip they received from an anonymous whistleblower, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission was able to put-together concrete civil bribery charges against a networking and cybersecurity solutions company called Juniper Networks. However, with the future of whistleblower program in jeopardy at that time, the commission was not able to bestow the tipster with a reward that the program mandated, but his wait seems to be over now. On Tuesday, SEC finally announced a reward worth $3.5 million for the whistleblower that played a pivotal role in the Juniper investigation

As crazy as it sounds, this case stretched across a span of 7 years before finally a conclusion was reached. It started way back in 2012, when the whistleblower tipped SEC about Juniper actively engaging in “channel partner discounting” bribery scheme in Russia. The reports prepared by SEC claimed that the company’s Russian subsidiary unlawfully collaborated with third-party distributors to fund leisure trips for customers and government officials through off-books accounts.

Under the newly-introduced 10% to 30% reward slabs that are figured on the basis of penalty value, the commission finalized a maximum 30% reward for the Juniper whistleblower.

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