SEC Awards $11.5 Million to Two Whistleblowers
Washington D.C., Sept. 17, 2021 —
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced awards of approximately $11.5 million to two whistleblowers whose information and assistance contributed to the success of an SEC enforcement action.
The first whistleblower received an award of nearly $7 million, while the second whistleblower received more than $4.5 million. The larger award was in recognition of the fact that the first whistleblower was the initial source that caused the staff to open the investigation into hard-to-detect violations and thereafter provided substantial assistance. The second whistleblower, by comparison, submitted information later, after the investigation was already underway, and had delayed reporting to the Commission for several years after becoming aware of the wrongdoing.
“This case demonstrates the Commission’s continued commitment to rewarding individuals who provide high-quality tips, and particularly timely ones,” said Emily Pasquinelli, Acting Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower. “These whistleblowers reported credible information that aided the Commission’s investigation and their subsequent cooperation allowed the Commission to better understand the violations that formed the basis of the enforcement action.”
The SEC has awarded approximately $1 billion to 212 individuals since issuing its first award in 2012. All payments are made out of an investor protection fund established by Congress that is financed entirely through monetary sanctions paid to the SEC by securities law violators. No money has been taken or withheld from 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 a successful enforcement action. Whistleblower awards can range from 10-30% of the money collected when the monetary sanctions exceed $1 million.
As set forth in the Dodd-Frank Act, the SEC protects the confidentiality of whistleblowers and does not disclose information that could reveal a whistleblower’s identity.
For more information about the whistleblower program and how to report a tip, visit www.sec.gov/whistleblower.