The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) whistleblower program for the second time this week has issued another award to an informant, this time nearly $1.0 million, per an SEC filing.
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Earlier this week, the SEC paid out over $3.5 million to an individual for their assistance, helping the US regulator bring a party to justice. 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 programs or rewards to individuals in a bid to help support or streamline investigations – the SEC is equipped with the Office of the Whistleblower.
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US regulators have to date had no issue issuing substantial sums to individuals aiding in investigations. Multiple awards in the millions of dollars have been awarded following successful enforcement actions from the SEC in recent months. The whistleblower program was originally established by Congress to help incentivize whistleblowers to provide specific, timely and credible information about federal securities law violations.
The latest award totaled $900,000 and was given after an individual came forward with information that led to an SEC enforcement action. The range for whistleblower awards can vary between 10% to 30% of the money collected when the monetary sanctions ordered exceed $1 million. The SEC paid its first award in 2012, just over a year after the Office of the Whistleblower opened for business, though tips must lead to enforcement action for informants to be eligible for a reward.
To date, the SEC’s whistleblower program has now awarded nearly $135 million to 36 whistleblowers. According to Jane Norberg, Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower, in a statement on the latest award: “With the issuance of this second award in less than one week, we hope to continue to encourage individuals to submit high-quality tips that we can leverage to enforce the law and protect investors, and they can receive significant financial rewards for their valuable contributions to a case.”