SEC’s Annual Report Confirms $50 Million Paid to Whistleblowers

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission building in Washington, D.C. September 4, 2014. Photo by Diego M. Radzinschi/THE NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL.

SEC anticipates paying an additional $221 million to whistleblowers in FY2018.

Washington, DC, November 16, 2017. The Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of the Whistleblower issued its annual report today. The Commission confirmed that “whistleblowers have provided tremendous value to its enforcement efforts and significantly helped investors.” It also confirmed that whistleblower disclosures have “directly” contributed to “hundreds of millions of dollars returned to investors.”

In FY 2017, the Commission paid $50 million in rewards to twelve whistleblowers. Since 2012, the Commission has paid $160 in whistleblower rewards.

Moreover, in its 2017 Financial Report the SEC “recognized a contingent liability” of $221 million for “liability for estimated whistleblower awards where the payment is considered probable.” This contingent liability is based on the Commissions practice of issue preliminary determinations setting forth specific reward amounts prior to finalizing a reward payment.

Stephen M. Kohn, the executive director of the National Whistleblower Center issued the following statement:

“The SEC manages the best whistleblower office in the U.S. They have taken strong position to fight retaliation, promoted compliance programs, and provided significant online recourses to help whistleblowers file claims that have resulted hundreds of millions of dollars in sanctions paid by fraudsters and numerous successful enforcement actions. Their 2017 report is a testament to the contributions whistleblowers make to the American people.”

“The Commission’s recognition that it has reached preliminary determination to award whistleblower over $200 mill over the next fiscal year confirms the growth and effectiveness of the program.”

“The Commission also manages a highly successful international program which has received complaints from one hundred-fourteen counties. In 2017, five hundred-fifty whistleblowers from seventy-two foreign counties provided info about misconduct by publicly traded companies worldwide. The SEC is currently operating he most successful transnational program in the world.”


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