SEC awards whistleblower with $300K

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced giving more than $300,000 to a whistleblower, whose information and continuing assistance significantly contributed to a successful enforcement action.

The whistleblower became aware of the potential securities law violations in connection with audit-related responsibilities. Although individuals with audit or compliance responsibilities are generally not eligible for awards, a whistleblower who reasonably believes that an entity is engaging in conduct that would impede the investigation falls within one of the exceptions to that rule. In this case, the whistleblower had a reasonable basis to believe that the entity would impede the Commission’s investigation. This is the fourth time the agency has paid a whistleblower with internal audit or compliance related responsibilities.

Jane Norberg, Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower said:

This award is an example of the important role that audit and compliance professionals can play in assisting the Commission’s enforcement efforts, especially when the entity is attempting to thwart an investigation. The whistleblower attempted to remedy the conduct and provided exceptional assistance to the enforcement staff.


So far, the agency has awarded over $731 million to total of 124 individuals since the first award was issued in 2012. Payment of the awards is taken out of an investor protection fund set up by Congress. It is financed through monetary sanctions of security law violations paid to SEC.

To be eligible for award, a whistleblower needs to voluntarily provide the commission with reliable information that leads to successful enforcement action. The awards range between 10 and 30 % of the money collected by SEC when the sanction is for more than $1 million.

According to the Dodd-Frank Act, SEC must protect the identity of the whistleblower and not disclose any information that could reveal it.

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