The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced Tuesday, January 24, that it issued over $28 million payout to an unidentified group of whistleblowers. The group (the SEC did not provide the number of people involved) provided substantive ongoing guidance and analysis for an unspecified enforcement action. The action returned millions of dollars to harmed investors, and the whistleblowers’ help contributed significantly to its success.
“Whistleblowers play an instrumental role in helping the SEC detect and prosecute wrongdoing and in protecting investors and the capital markets,” said Creola Kelly, Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower, in a statement. “Whistleblowers perform an incredible public service, as reflected by today’s award.”
Investor protection fund pays whistleblowers
The award (which is 10 to 30% of actions involving more than $1 million) came out of the investor protection fund created after the global financial crisis of 2007-2009 that handed out a total of more than $6.3 billion in sanctions ending in the fiscal year 2022 (September 30, 2022), with another $101 million awarded since then. The SEC has awarded a total of more than $1.3 billion to whistleblowers.
Help is available
The lack of details about this recent award illustrates the anonymity given to those who aid in investigations and actions conducted by the SEC. Those considering becoming a whistleblower often find it helpful to work with attorneys who focus on representing the brave individuals who alert government officials of wrongdoing and provide knowledgeable guidance for identifying illegal and unethical transgressions.