SEC Inaction on Ardmore Whistleblower’s Reports Begins to Mute Her Enthusiasm

whistle and gavel, tools of Janice Shell
Image via iStock.
Whistleblower Janice Shell from Ardmore is giving up her watchdog status.

Janice Shell, an Ardmore retiree, was a hunter. Her prey was not game; rather, it was fraudulent stock valuations that harm unwitting investors. John Holland’s Bloomberg story described her unusual calling — and its associated frustrations.

Shell uses the fraud reporting program of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower. It’s a 2010 resource from President Obama, part of the legislative overhaul the nation’s financial regulatory environment.

To spur average Americans like Shell to provide extra eyes on stock transactions, the Whistleblower Office incentivizes reporters of successfully litigated cases.

Case filers receive a bounty of 10–30 percent of money recovered from the fraud they brought to light.

Since the office’s 2010 start, 60,000 tips have been submitted nationwide.

Yet fewer than 300 have resulted in rewards.

Those include Shell’s; she’s submitted about a dozen, and none yielded anything.

She has therefore stopped raising red flags to the SEC.

“It’s such a nuisance when you know they aren’t going to get to it this year,” she said.
“And maybe not ever.”

SEC Chair Gary Gensler says the issue is resources.

He stated that the Office of the Whistleblower struggles to keep pace with the influx of reports (12,000 were filed in 2021). Investigating all of them — which Gensler says is policy — takes time.

Bloomberg has more on Janice Shell and the vigilant watch she has set aside.

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