For tipping off and aiding the regulator with high-quality information, the US Securities and Exchange Commission has handed out two separate whistleblower awards totaling over $3 million.
According to the first redacted order, the SEC awarded a whistleblower more than $2.2 million for providing information that alerted its staff to a misconduct and helped in returning millions of dollars to harmed clients.
Another $700,000 was separately distributed to a whistleblower for tipping it off about a fraudulent reporting scheme which led to a successful enforcement action. Additionally, the tipster repeatedly provided critical evidence to the regulator, and helped identify key documents and witnesses.
“The return of millions of dollars to harmed clients in one matter, and the uncovering of a fraudulent scheme in the other matter, underscore the tremendous value that whistleblowers provide, ” said Jane Norberg, Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower.
Whistleblowers Receive Between Up To 30% Of Penalties
The SEC further noted in the order that both whistleblowers raised their concerns internally and then timely reported those concerns to the commission.
As long as the whistleblower’s internal disclosure prompted a company investigation, he can benefit from all the information discovered in that probe. However, he should also report to the SEC within 120 days of the internal disclosure, then the SEC uses the date of the internal report in determining whether he provided original information.
The decision-making process, however, takes some time as the agency has sorted through a flood of requests for awards and tips on potential corporate wrongdoing.
The US top regulator didn’t name the company involved or the people getting the awards, citing federal law that protects confidentiality. Committed to protecting the anonymity of informants, the SEC reveals only a few details regarding the nature of the case facts, the enforcement action and the identity of the whistleblower.
The SEC has now paid approximately $741 million to 136 individuals since the inception of the program a decade ago.