Whistleblowers who provided key information to the Securities and Exchange Commission in two separate enforcement actions have been awarded a total of over $4 million, the SEC announced in a news release last week.
One of the whistleblowers received about $2.6 million for new information during an existing investigation that helped the SEC detect misconduct occurring overseas. Without the whistleblower’s help, the commission said it would have been difficult to uncover the wrongdoing.
In the second order, the SEC awarded about $1.5 million to joint whistleblowers. These individuals helped the commission carry out a successful action by providing substantial ongoing assistance during the course of the investigation. They provided information about key witnesses during their communications with SEC staff members.
“These whistleblowers provided critical information and continued cooperation that helped the agency detect the securities laws violations,” said Creola Kelly, Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower. “These awards highlight the importance of the SEC’s whistleblower program to the agency’s enforcement efforts and to its ability to maximize staff resources.”
Created by Congress under the Dodd Frank of 2010, the whistleblower program has awarded about $1.2 billion to 241 individuals since the first award was issued in 2012. Individuals who voluntarily provide the SEC with original, timely, and credible information that leads to a successful enforcement action may be eligible for a whistleblower award.
The confidentiality of all whistleblowers is protected by the SEC, and no information is disclosed that could reveal their identity. The payments come from an investor protection fund established by Congress that is financed entirely through monetary sanctions paid to the SEC by securities law violators.
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