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Screenshot of a breaking news alert e-mail from Q2 2017
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced a whistleblower award of more than $2.1 million to a former company insider whose information led to multiple successful enforcement actions. The whistleblower’s information strongly supported the findings in the underlying actions and the whistleblower provided ongoing assistance to the staff during the investigation.
The SEC has issued nearly $90 million in whistleblower awards in the past month alone,” said Jane Norberg, Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower. “As these awards demonstrate, we continue to receive high-quality information from whistleblowers, which we use to detect and prosecute securities violations and safeguard investors.
Since issuing its first award in 2012, the SEC has awarded more than $266 million to 55 individuals under the whistleblower program. In that time, almost $1.5 billion in monetary sanctions have been ordered against wrongdoers based on actionable information received from whistleblowers, including more than $740 million in disgorgement of ill-gotten gains and interest, the majority of which has been or is scheduled to be returned to harmed investors.
All payments are made out of an investor protection fund established by Congress that is financed entirely through monetary sanctions paid to the SEC by securities law violators. No money has been taken or withheld from harmed investors to pay whistleblower awards. Whistleblowers may be eligible for an award when they voluntarily provide the SEC with original, timely, and credible information that leads to a successful enforcement action. Whistleblower awards can range from 10 percent to 30 percent of the money collected when the monetary sanctions exceed $1 million.
By law, the SEC protects the confidentiality of whistleblowers and does not disclose information that might directly or indirectly reveal a whistleblower’s identity.