The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced whistleblower awards to five individuals for information provided in three different enforcement actions for combined payments of nearly $3 million.
In the first order, the SEC awarded the whistleblower nearly $1.8 million. The whistleblower, a company insider, provided information that would have been difficult to detect in the absence of the tip and provided extraordinary assistance to SEC staff resulting in the return of money to investors.
In the second order, the SEC awarded a total of approximately $750,000 to two whistleblowers. The first whistleblower provided a detailed tip that prompted the opening of the investigation and received an award of more than $500,000. In awarding this whistleblower, the SEC exercised its discretion to waive the TCR filing requirement. The second whistleblower, who received more than $250,000, provided new information that resulted in the inclusion of additional allegations in the covered action. Both whistleblowers provided substantial assistance, including participating in interviews and providing subject matter expertise.
In the third order, the SEC jointly awarded nearly $400,000 to two individuals whose analysis prompted the opening of an investigation that led to the SEC’s enforcement action. They also provided substantial and continuing assistance during the course of the investigation.
“Today the Commission issued awards to multiple whistleblowers whose information and assistance proved critical to several enforcement matters,” said Jane Norberg, Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower. “In the first quarter of FY2021, the SEC has made whistleblower awards of almost $170 million to 17 individuals, which is already near the record dollar amount reached last fiscal year.”
The SEC has awarded approximately $731 million to 123 individuals since issuing its first award in 2012. All payments are made out of an investor protection fund established by Congress that is financed entirely through monetary sanctions paid to the SEC by securities law violators. No money has been taken or withheld from harmed investors to pay whistleblower awards. Whistleblowers may be eligible for an award when they voluntarily provide the SEC with original, timely, and credible information that leads to a successful enforcement action. Whistleblower awards can range from 10-30% of the money collected when the monetary sanctions exceed $1 million.
As set forth in the Dodd-Frank Act, the SEC protects the confidentiality of whistleblowers and does not disclose information that could reveal a whistleblower’s identity.
For more information about the whistleblower program and how to report a tip, visit www.sec.gov/whistleblower.