The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced on April 25 that it awarded $6 million to two groups of whistleblowers. According to a redacted order, both provided information assistance to a single covered action. The SEC published no names and did not identify the action.
One group provided the SEC with essential documents that led investigators to request additional records. The other group provided critical first-hand accounts of the reported misconduct. They all continued to assist in the SEC’s investigation. The award breakdown was equal among members of their respective groups. The award was an unspecified percentage of a collection of monetary sanctions collected for the violation. When financial sanctions exceed $1 million, the SEC pays between 10% and 30% of the money collected to the whistleblowers involved.
“Whistleblower tips are an integral component of the Commission’s enforcement program,” said Creola Kelly, Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower, in a press release. “Today’s whistleblowers provided credible information and assisted an ongoing investigation.”
The SEC has issued $1.2 billion to 268 whistleblowers since issuing its first award in 2012. The program is entirely funded by monetary sanctions paid to the SEC by securities law violators. The SEC took no money from harmed investors to pay the whistleblowers.
Tipsters are rewarded and protected
Those with questions about filing a whistleblower claim with the SEC often find it beneficial to work with attorneys who specialize in representing whistleblowers during this difficult time. The redactions in the documentation create anonymity, but laws protect whistleblowers even if they identify themselves.