SEC issues whistleblower awards totaling nearly $3 million
On December 7, the SEC announced whistleblower awards to five individuals totaling nearly $3 million for information provided in three different enforcement actions. According to the first redacted order, the SEC awarded a whistleblower nearly $1.8 million for voluntarily providing original information to the Commission leading to a successful enforcement action. The whistleblower, a company insider, provided detailed information that would have been difficult to detect in the absence of the tip and “provided extraordinary assistance” to Commission staff, which resulted in the return of money to harmed investors.
In the second redacted order, the SEC awarded two whistleblowers a total of approximately $750,000. The first whistleblower received a roughly $500,000 award for providing “credible [and] high quality” information directly to enforcement staff, which prompted the opening of an investigation and resulted in a successful enforcement action. The second whistleblower received approximately $250,000 for providing new information towards the end of the investigation “that resulted in the inclusion of additional allegations in the Covered Action.” The SEC noted that both whistleblowers provided substantial assistance in the investigation, including participating in interviews and providing explanations and clarity on complex issues.
In the third redacted order, two whistleblowers were jointly awarded nearly $400,000 for providing information that prompted the opening of an investigation leading to a successful enforcement action. The SEC stated that the whistleblowers also “provided substantial and continuing assistance to [e]nforcement staff during the course of the investigation.”
The SEC has now paid approximately $731 million to 123 individuals since the inception of the program.