The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced August 30, 2016, that it has awarded over $100 million to whistleblowers since its inception in 2011. The SEC’s whistleblower program was established by Congress to incentivize whistleblowers with specific, timely and credible information about federal securities law violations to report to the SEC.
Whistleblowers may be eligible for an award when they voluntarily provide the SEC with unique and useful 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 ordered exceed $1 million. The SEC paid its first award in 2012, just over a year after its Office of the Whistleblower opened for business.
“The SEC whistleblower program has had a transformative impact on the agency, enabling us to bring high-quality enforcement cases quicker using fewer resources,” said Andrew Ceresney, Director of the SEC Division of Enforcement. “The ultimate goal of our whistleblower program is to deter securities violations and paying more than $100 million in whistleblower awards demonstrates the value that whistleblowers have added to our enforcement program.”