The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced yesterday that two whistleblowers were awarded for providing timely and crucial information in two separate cases of fraud. Both whistleblowers assisted SEC in stopping fraudulent schemes exploiting retail investors.
The first whistleblower alerted SEC of fraudulent actions and the agency awarded them with more than $277,000 for his help. The second whistleblower was a harmed investor who shared significant information that allowed SEC to recover assets and return them to the victims of the fraud. The commission awarded them with $45,000.
Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower Jane Norberg said:
Both whistleblowers awarded today played a crucial role in helping the Commission protect Main Street investors. The information provided saved the SEC time and resources in conducting the investigations and assisted the SEC in returning money to harmed investors.
So far, the agency has awarded around $387 million to 72 individuals for their help 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.