The Securities and Exchange Commission today awarded a whistleblower more than $3 million to a company insider whose information helped the SEC crack a complex fraud case. It is the third highest award to date under the SEC’s whistleblower program.

“The whistleblower’s specific and detailed information comprehensively laid out the fraudulent scheme, which otherwise would have been very difficult for investigators to detect,” the SEC said. “The whistleblower’s initial tip also led to related actions that increased the whistleblower’s award.”

Whistleblowers who provide the SEC with unique and useful information that contributes to a successful enforcement action are eligible for up to 30 percent of the money collected when financial sanctions exceed $1 million.  By law, the SEC protects the confidentiality of whistleblowers and does not disclose information that might directly or indirectly reveal a whistleblower’s identity.

Since its inception in 2011, the SEC’s whistleblower program has paid more than $50 million to 18 whistleblowers, including a more than $30 million award in 2014 and a more than $14 million award in 2013.