The US Securities and Exchange Commission today has awarded more than $1.8m to a whistleblower whose information and assistance were critically important to the success of an enforcement action involving misconduct committed outside the US.
After alerting the agency to the violations, the whistleblower provided extensive and ongoing cooperation during the course of the investigation, including the review of documents and the provision of sworn testimony, and continued to provide additional new information that advanced the investigation.
“The whistleblower in this matter provided stellar information and ongoing assistance that resulted in the Commission bringing a programmatically significant enforcement action,” said Jane Norberg, Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower. “Moreover, the misconduct occurred abroad, and without the whistleblower’s tip and assistance, the violations at issue would have been difficult to identify.”
The SEC has awarded approximately $387m to 66 individuals since issuing its first award in 2012. All payments are made out of an investor protection fund established by Congress that is financed entirely through monetary sanctions paid to the SEC by securities law violators. No money has been taken or withheld from harmed investors to pay whistleblower awards. 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 10-30% of the money collected when the monetary sanctions exceed $1m.
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.