The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced an award of almost $30 million to two insider whistleblowers whose tips led SEC staff to open an investigation. The first whistleblower, who was the first to alert SEC staff of potential wrongdoing and provided substantial, ongoing assistance, received an award of approximately $22 million. The second whistleblower provided additional valuable information, and received an award of approximately $7 million.
“The information and assistance provided by today’s whistleblowers helped the agency return tens of millions of dollars to harmed retail investors,” said Jane Norberg, Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower. “We hope that awards like the ones issued by the Commission today will continue to incentivize individuals to come forward and report high-quality tips to the SEC.”
The SEC has awarded approximately $557 million to 102 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 information that could reveal a whistleblower’s identity.