The SEC announced another blockbuster whistleblower award yesterday. The agency stated that it will pay nearly $2 million to three whistleblowers in a case -- including a payment of approximately $1.8 million to one of the three whistleblowers. The other two whistleblowers will receive approximately $65,000 each. The SEC did not identify any of the three whistleblowers receiving the awards, noting that it protects the confidentiality of whistleblowers.
The $1.8 million award in this case appears to be the fourth largest on record, trailing only the following awards:
$30 million award (announced Sept. 22, 2014)
$14 million award (announced Oct. 1, 2013)
$3 million award (announced July 17, 2015)
In its Order, the SEC stated that a fourth claimant was denied a whistleblower award in the case. The agency determined that the fouth claimant was ineligible because he or she "was found to have knowingly and willfully made false, fictitious, or fraudulent statements and representations to the Commission over a course of several years."
According to the SEC, its whistleblower program has now paid more than $57 million to 26 whistleblowers since its inception in 2011. Sean X. McKessy, Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower, stated yesterday that his office has seen a "significant uptick in whistleblower tips over prior years" due to the increased public awareness of the program and the tens of millions of dollars it has now paid out to whistleblowers.