The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced two different whistleblower awards with a total payment of over $4.3 million in an effort to extend its support to cooperating informants.
The commission has awarded the payments in two different orders. In the first one, the SEC awarded around $3.6 million to a whistleblower who provided important information about misconduct occurring abroad. The whistleblower provided assistance to the enforcement staff and traveled to another country at his own expense to gather supporting documents.
According to the official announcement, the SEC awarded $750,000 to another whistleblower who provided important information about an ongoing fraud. The whistleblower helped the commission with in-person meetings and by explaining the fraudulent scheme structure.
While speaking about the recent awards, Jane Norberg, Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower, said: “Whistleblowers play an important role in helping to identify misconduct, and the assistance they provide can be integral to an investigation. Both whistleblowers who received awards today reflect these important contributions whistleblowers can make to the success of enforcement actions.”
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There has been a significant rise in the SEC’s whistleblower awards this year as the commission awarded more than $150 million across four whistleblowers in the month of October alone. Since issuing the first award in 2012, the SEC has awarded around $712 million to 112 individuals. The SEC made these payments from an investor protection fund established by Congress. The commission clarified that no money has been taken from the harmed investors to pay whistleblower awards.
“Whistleblowers may be eligible for an award when they voluntarily provide the SEC with original, timely, and credible information that leads to successful enforcement action. Whistleblower awards can range from 10 percent to 30 percent of the money collected when the monetary sanctions exceed $1 million,” the commission mentioned in the press release.
The SEC has also increased the crowdfunding limits recently to facilitate entrepreneurs and emerging businesses.