A substantial award has been given by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to an individual that helped the agency with an ongoing investigation, by providing a tip that returned $3.5 million in compensation to the whistleblower, according to an official SEC press release.
The highly rewarded information was described as helping to provide additional evidence of wrongdoing to assist with strengthening the SEC’s existing case against the parties that are under investigation. Under law, the SEC keeps the identity of the whistleblower confidential.
While the agency said that whistleblowers should be encouraged to come forward and report any such potential violations of securities laws, the SEC welcomed input even if people believe the agency may already be aware of the details.
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This latest award brings the total awarded to over $62 million across 28 whistleblowers since the program started in 2011, paid via a fund that is based on money that has been paid by securities law violations .
“Whistleblowers can receive an award not only when their tip initiates an investigation, but also when they provide new information or documentation that advances an existing inquiry,” said Andrew Ceresney, director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, commenting in the press release. “This particular whistleblower’s tip substantially strengthened our ongoing case and increased our leverage during settlement negotiations with the company.”
The news comes just over a month since the SEC announced its largest whistleblower award to date.