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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

SEC issues whistleblower awards totaling $40 million

Securities Enforcement Whistleblower Investigations


On October 15, the SEC announced awards totaling approximately $40 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 roughly $32 million for providing substantial assistance to enforcement staff, identifying witnesses, and helping staff understand complex fact patterns. The SEC noted that the whistleblower’s tip was the initial source of the underlying investigation, and that without the individual’s information, the abuses would have been difficult to detect. The second whistleblower—who delayed reporting to the SEC for several years—provided helpful information during the course of the investigation that gave enforcement staff a more complete picture of events, and was awarded approximately $8 million.

The SEC has awarded approximately $1.1 billion to 218 individuals since issuing its first award in 2012.

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