Two whistleblowers have received awards from the Securities and Exchange Commission for the assistance they provided to the commission in its enforcement actions. Under the whistleblower program, individuals who provide the SEC with information that leads to a successful enforcement action may be eligible for monetary awards.
According to a press release, the most recent payments totaled nearly $6 million. Over $3.5 million was given to a whistleblower whose information led to the expansion of an existing SEC investigation into an additional geographic area. Continuing assistance from that whistleblower ultimately helped the commission bring charges in that particular case.
The second award amounted to over $2.4 million, after the SEC launched an investigation based on “previously unknown conduct” brought to their attention by a whistleblower. That individual then provided additional help, including providing relevant documents and interviewing possible witnesses in the case.
“With today’s orders, the SEC has made whistleblower awards to 14 individuals in less than a month, reflecting the SEC’s commitment to reward whistleblowers who provide new, critical information that leads to successful enforcement actions,” said Emily Pasquinelli, Acting Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower.
As we reported on recently, the commission’s commitment to whistleblowers was underscored recently by SEC Chairman Gary Gensler, who stated that he wanted the program strengthened, including reducing the processing time for award determinations.
Created by Congress under the Dodd Frank of 2010, the whistleblower program has awarded about $956 million to 195 individuals since the first award was issued in 2012. The confidentiality of all whistleblowers is protected by the SEC, and no information is disclosed that could reveal their identity.