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SEC issues more than $16 million in whistleblower awards

Securities Enforcement Whistleblower SEC

Securities

On August 9, the SEC announced whistleblower awards totaling more than $16 million to two whistleblowers for providing information and assistance in a successful SEC enforcement action. According to the redacted order, the SEC awarded approximately $13 million to one of the whistleblowers for prompting the opening of the investigation and providing critical information, including information on “difficult to detect” violations. The whistleblower also identified key witnesses and helped staff “understand complex fact patterns and issues related to the matters under investigation.” The second whistleblower received a more than $3 million award for submitting important new information during the course of the investigation, which provided the staff a more complete picture. The SEC attributed the lower award amount to the fact that the second whistleblower delayed reporting the wrongdoing for several years, whereas the first whistleblower “persistently alerted the Commission to the ongoing abusive practices for a number of years before the investigation was opened.”

The SEC has awarded more than $1.3 billion to 281 individuals since issuing its first whistleblower award in 2012.

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