The Securities and Exchange Commission has awarded over $260,000 to three individuals who jointly submitted a tip alerting the agency to a well-concealed fraud targeting retail investors that led to a successful enforcement action. The whistleblowers were, themselves, harmed investors.
“Because of the whistleblowers’ information and assistance early in the investigation, the SEC had strong evidence about a fraudulent scheme operated by recidivist violators,” said Jane Norberg, Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower. “This matter exemplifies the importance of the SEC’s whistleblower program to the agency’s enforcement efforts and commitment to protect investors.”
The SEC, to date, has awarded approximately $387 million to 70 individuals since issuing its first award in 2012. Whistleblowers may be eligible for an award when they voluntarily provide the SEC with original, timely, and credible information that leads to a successful enforcement action. Whistleblower awards can range from 10 percent to 30 percent of the money collected when the monetary sanctions exceed $1 million.
As set forth in the Dodd-Frank Act, the SEC protects the confidentiality of whistleblowers and does not disclose information that could reveal a whistleblower’s identity.