The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) today awarded an employee of a domestic government agency with a decent sum for his efforts towards uncovering securities law violations made by an investment scheme.
The SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower today announced that the agency gave an award of $2.5 million to an anonymous tipster for providing information that led to a successful enforcement action.
This brings the whistleblower program’s total endowment to approximately $156 million since issuing its first award in 2012. SEC enforcement actions from tip-offs have resulted in nearly $1 billion in fines since the program’s inception in 2011.
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Committed to protecting the anonymity of informants, the SEC did not disclose the individual’s identity or the involved organization. The regulator discloses no information that could directly or indirectly reveal their identity. However, the SEC acknowledged that the whistleblower’s original information alerted the agency to a case of fraud.
Jane Norberg, Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower, commented: ”Whistleblowers can provide a wealth of information and ongoing assistance that helps our agency bring enforcement actions quicker and more efficiently. This whistleblower not only helped us open the case, but also provided timely ongoing assistance along with critical documents and testimony that accelerated the pace of our enforcement action.”
Whistleblowing has become a staple of multiple US regulatory regimes, namely those of the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the SEC. Both entities have deployed a system of programs and rewards in a bid to help support and streamline investigations.
Whistleblowers who voluntarily provide information to the commission leading to a successful enforcement action of $1 million or more are entitled to between 10 and 30 percent of the money that the SEC recovers from those sanctions.