On December 12, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that a whistleblower will receive over $20 million as an award. According to the agency, the whistleblower “provided information and assistance that significantly contributed to a successful enforcement action” and also “provided new information, met with Enforcement Division staff multiple times, and remained cooperative throughout the investigation.”
Through the SEC Whistleblower Program, qualified whistleblowers, individuals who voluntarily provide the agency with original information that leads to a successful enforcement action are entitled to an award of 10-30% of the funds collected by the government in the action.
The SEC considered several factors in determining the whistleblower’s award, including “(1) the significance of information provided to the Commission; (2) the assistance provided in the Covered Action; (3) the law enforcement interest in deterring violations by granting awards; (4) participation in internal compliance systems; (5) culpability; (6) unreasonable reporting delay; and (7) interference with internal compliance and reporting systems.”
Although a lot of the information the whistleblower provided “was already known to the Enforcement staff, and the new, helpful information Claimant provided was fairly limited,” the SEC wrote that the whistleblower “met with Enforcement staff multiple times and remained cooperative throughout the investigation.”
“Whistleblowers may lead to the success of an enforcement matter by providing information that causes an investigation or examination to open or that meaningfully advances an existing investigation,” said Creola Kelly, Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower.
The SEC Whistleblower Program had a record year in Fiscal Year 2022: according to the Annual Report, “the SEC received a record 12,300 whistleblower tips.” The agency “issued 103 whistleblower awards totaling $229 million.” Read more about the SEC’s record year on WNN.