SEC issues whistleblower awards totaling $11.5 million
On September 17, the SEC announced whistleblower awards totaling approximately $11.5 million to two whistleblowers who provided information and assistance leading to a successful SEC enforcement action. According to the redacted order, the SEC paid one of the whistleblowers nearly $7 million for being the initial source that led enforcement staff to open an investigation into hard-to-detect violations and for providing subsequent substantial assistance. According to the SEC, the whistleblower also “made persistent efforts to remedy the issues, while suffering hardships.” The second whistleblower, who provided information several years after the investigation was already underway, was paid more than $4.5 million. The SEC noted that the information was particularly helpful as it was based on the second whistleblower’s more recent experience. However, the SEC reduced the award after determining that the whistleblower delayed reporting to the SEC for several years after becoming aware of the wrongdoing.
The SEC has awarded approximately $1 billion in whistleblower awards to 212 individuals since issuing its first award in 2012.