The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) awarded $27 million—the largest award so far this year—to a whistleblower who reported overseas fraud.
According to an SEC press release, the whistleblower provided critical investigative leads that advanced the investigation and saved significant Commission resources. The award marks the sixth largest award in the history of SEC’s whistleblower program and brings the program’s total rewards to more than $400 million.
According to the SEC order determining the amount of the awards, the whistleblower’s contribution was significant because it:
- Allowed Commission staff to uncover hidden conduct occurring, in part, overseas.
- Provided relevant documents and critical investigative leads that advanced the investigation and saved the Commission a significant amount of time and resources.
- Enabled the Commission to advance law enforcement interests by bringing an action against a particular form of misconduct.
The whistleblower provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act require the SEC to protect the identity of any whistleblower who wishes to remain anonymous. A whistleblower who would like to stay anonymous must hire an attorney to file the complaint on their behalf. Because rewards can only be paid based on “original” information, the whistleblower who first alerts the Commission to a potential violation stands the most definite chance of obtaining the most substantial reward.
Attorneys have called the SEC whistleblower program among the best in the world. Since issuing its first whistleblower award in 2012, the SEC Office of the Whistleblower has awarded $425 million to 79 individuals. Whistleblower awards can range between 10 and 30 percent of the money collected when the monetary sanctions exceed $1 million.
Read the SEC press release: SEC Awards Over $27 Million to Whistleblower
Read the SEC order