The Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday announced an award of more than $1.6 million to a whistleblower whose information formed part of the basis for charges brought in a successful enforcement action.
According to the SEC’s order, the whistleblower’s insight caused staff in the Division of Enforcement to open an investigation and supported some of the charges brought in the covered action. The SEC further noted the allegations would have been hard to detect without the whistleblower’s assistance, thus saving the Commission time and resources.
“This matter highlights the importance of the SEC’s whistleblower program to the agency’s enforcement efforts and to its ability to maximize staff resources,” said Jane Norberg, chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower, in a press release.
The SEC noted the whistleblower unreasonably delaying his or her reporting to the Commission as a factor in assessing the award total. “We have not applied this factor as severely here as we otherwise might have done had the delay occurred entirely after the whistleblower award program was established by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act,” the SEC said.
Monday’s award was the third handed out by the SEC this year, following a $7 million payout announced at the end of last month. On Tuesday, the SEC announced two more whistleblower awards—one at approximately $478,000 and the second at approximately $94,000—to informants that provided significant information and assistance that led to multiple successful enforcement actions.
The SEC has awarded approximately $396 million to 76 individuals since issuing its first award in 2012. SEC whistleblower awards can range from 10 percent to 30 percent of the money collected when the penalties exceed $1 million. All award payments are made through an investor protection fund established by Congress and financed by monetary sanctions paid to the SEC by securities law violators.
The SEC neither identifies whistleblowers, nor discloses information that could reveal a whistleblower’s identity.