The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced Tuesday that it has awarded a whistleblower more than $4 million for providing insider tips and information that alerted regulators to fraud.
The award caps off a successful summer for the SEC whistleblower program, which was established by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 and launched in 2011.
In June, the SEC announced a series of fraud-related settlements that resulted in awards of more than $26 million for whistleblowers. In August, the agency awarded more than $22 million to a Monsanto whistleblower, which pushed the SEC whistleblower program past the $100-million mark in total whistleblower awards given since the program’s start.
Total whistleblower awards since the whistleblower program started now stand at $111 million, paid to 34 whistleblowers. Whistleblower tips have helped the agency seize more than $500 million in penalties from companies that violated securities laws.
“Our program continues to incentivize whistleblowers to come forward with solid information that helps us bring violators to justice before more wrongdoing can occur,” said Jane Norberg, Acting Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower.
The SEC’s whistleblower program protects the confidentiality of whistleblowers and does not disclose information about a case that might directly or indirectly reveal a whistleblower’s identity.
“Company insiders are uniquely positioned to protect investors and blow the whistle on a company’s wrongdoing by providing key information to the SEC so we can investigate the full extent of the violations,” said Andrew Ceresney, Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement. “The information and assistance provided by this whistleblower enabled our enforcement staff to conserve time and resources and gather strong evidence supporting our case.”
Whistleblower awards can range from 10 percent to 30 percent of the money collected when the SEC’s monetary sanctions exceed $1 million. All payments are made out of an investor protection fund established by Congress that is financed through the monetary penalties paid to the SEC by securities law violators.