Today, the SEC announced yet another blockbuster whistleblower award--more than $17 million to a former company employee who the SEC credited with submitting a detailed tip that "substantially advanced the agency’s investigation and ultimate enforcement action." Andrew Ceresney, Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, stated that the tip and assistance provided by the whistleblower "enabled our enforcement staff to conserve time and resources and gather strong evidence supporting our case.”
The $17 million award is the second-largest award issued to date, behind only the $30 million award the agency announced in September 2014. It is the most recent in a string of sizable awards over the past 4 weeks. On May 13, the announced an award to a company employee for more than $3.5 million, and on May 17 the agency announced that it would award between $5 million and $6 million to a former company insider. Sean X. McKessy, Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower, noted that the in the past month alone, five whistleblowers have received a total of more than $26 million.
The SEC does not disclose information that might directly or indirectly reveal a whistleblower’s identity. Today, however, whistleblower attorney Jordan Thomas of the law firm Labaton Sucharow confirmed that the whistleblower was a client of his firm:
Second largest SEC #whistleblower award ever ($17 million) goes to @LabatonSucharow client - https://t.co/dhhYOxOwwV
— Jordan Thomas (@SECreporter) June 9, 2016
The SEC noted that overall, its whistleblower program has now awarded more than $85 million to 32 whistleblowers since its launch in 2011. As I wrote here, the the SEC took some heat from critics back in May 2013 when it appeared that its whistleblower program was of to a very slow start. Those early growing pains certainly seem to be a thing of the past.