The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced whistleblower awards to four individuals totaling more than $31 million.
In the first order, the SEC awarded almost $27 million to two claimants who provided SEC staff with new information and assistance during an existing investigation, including meeting with the staff in person on multiple days. Their information and cooperation helped the Commission bring the enforcement action, which resulted in the return of millions of dollars to harmed investors.
In the second order, the SEC awarded one whistleblower an award of approximately $3.75 million and the other whistleblower an award of approximately $750,000. While both whistleblowers independently provided information that assisted SEC staff in an ongoing investigation, the whistleblower who received the larger award provided information and assistance that was more important to the resolution of the overall case.
“Whistleblowers play a critical role in an investigation, whether at the outset or during the course of an investigation,” said Emily Pasquinelli, Acting Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower. “Today’s awards demonstrate that whistleblowers with specific, credible information who significantly contribute to the success of an existing investigation may be eligible for an award.”
The SEC has awarded approximately $873 million to 162 individuals since issuing its first award in 2012. 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.
As set forth in the Dodd-Frank Act, the SEC protects the confidentiality of whistleblowers and does not disclose any information that could reveal a whistleblower’s identity.
For more information about the whistleblower program and how to report a tip, visit www.sec.gov/whistleblower.