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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

SEC issues two separate whistleblower awards totaling over $38 million

Securities SEC Whistleblower Enforcement


On November 3, the SEC announced a more than $28 million whistleblower award in connection with a successful enforcement action. According to the redacted order, the whistleblower (i) first reported the information internally, which prompted an internal investigation; (ii) saved the SEC time and resources; and (iii) assisted the SEC with testimony and provided identification of a key witness.

Earlier on October 29, the SEC announced an award of over $10 million to a whistleblower in connection with a successful enforcement action prompted and aided by the whistleblower. The SEC notes that the individual provided “substantial ongoing assistance to [the] SEC,” including “more than a dozen communications with the staff” that helped the SEC “decipher communications, and distill[] complex issues.” According to the redacted order, the individual first raised concerns about the conduct internally, but “after determining the [c]ompany would not remedy the problem,” the individual brought the information to the SEC. The SEC denied two other claimants related to the enforcement action, concluding that the other claimants were not eligible for the award because either (i) the information was not used in and had no impact on the enforcement action; or (ii) there was no record of communications with the claimant and the agency.

The SEC has now paid approximately $715 million to 110 individuals since the inception of the program.

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