SEC’s Whistleblower Office Hands Out $4 Million Award to New Tipster

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) today awarded a whistleblower with a decent sum for his efforts to uncover securities law violations made by an investment scheme.

The SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower today announced that the agency gave an award of $4.0 million to an anonymous tipster for providing information that led to a successful enforcement action. This brings the whistleblower program’s total endowment to approximately $153 million since issuing its first award in 2012. SEC enforcement actions from whistleblower tip-offs have resulted in more than $935 million in financial remedies since the program’s inception in 2011.

Committed to protecting whistleblowers’ confidentiality, the SEC did not disclose the individual’s identity or the involved organization. The U.S. regulator protects the anonymity of the whistleblowers and discloses no information that could directly or indirectly reveal their identity. However, the SEC acknowledged that the whistleblower’s original information alerted the agency to a case of fraud.

Jane Norberg, Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower, commented: “Not only did this whistleblower step forward and report suspicious conduct, but continued to help after we opened our investigation. Whistleblowers with specialized experience or expertise can help us expend fewer resources in our investigations and bring enforcement actions more efficiently.”

Whistleblowing has become a staple of multiple US regulatory regimes, namely those of the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the SEC. Both entities have deployed programs or rewards to individuals in a bid to help support or streamline investigations.

Whistleblowers who voluntarily provide information to the Commission leading to a successful enforcement action of $1 million or more, are entitled to between 10 and 30 percent of the money that the SEC recovers from those sanctions.

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