SEC issues more than $6.5 million in whistleblower awards
On March 9, the SEC announced an approximately $1.5 million whistleblower award in connection with a successful enforcement action. According to the redacted order, the whistleblower provided information that led to the opening of the investigation, and assisted enforcement staff by providing multiple written submissions and identifying potential witnesses. The whistleblower also met with enforcement staff multiple times to explain information.
Earlier, on March 4, the SEC announced a more than $5 million joint award to two whistleblowers who alerted enforcement staff to misconduct occurring abroad that would otherwise “have been difficult to detect.” According to the redacted order, the whistleblowers voluntarily submitted a joint tip that led to the opening of the investigation, and continued to assist enforcement staff by providing information that directly supported certain allegations in the enforcement action. However, in the same order, the SEC affirmed denial of two other claimants’ award claims after determining that the individuals did not submit information leading to the successful enforcement of the covered action. The SEC noted, among other things, that these claimants’ tips did not cause the opening of the investigation and that the information provided related to conduct by “entirely different companies” and was not used in the covered action.
The SEC has now paid approximately $759 million to 143 individuals since the inception of the whistleblower program in 2012.