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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

SEC reaches $1 billion milestone in whistleblower awards

Securities SEC Whistleblower Enforcement Investigations


On September 15, the SEC announced whistleblower awards totaling nearly $114 million to two whistleblowers who provided information and assistance leading to successful SEC and related actions. According to the redacted order, the first whistleblower was awarded $110 million for providing “significant independent information that bridged the gap between certain publicly available information and the possible securities violations.” The SEC noted that the “$110 million award consists of an approximately $40 million award in connection with an SEC case and an approximately $70 million award arising out of related actions by another agency.” The $110 million award is the second-highest award in the program's history, following an approximately $114 million whistleblower award the SEC issued in October 2020 (covered by InfoBytes here). After the SEC staff opened an investigation and undertook significant investigative steps, a second whistleblower voluntarily provided original information and received an approximately $4 million award.

The SEC has awarded approximately $1 billion in whistleblower awards to 207 individuals since issuing its first award in 2012, which includes over $500 million in fiscal year 2021 alone.  

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