SEC Awards Over $6 Million to Two Whistleblowers
On July 15, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced two whistleblower awards totaling more than $6 million. Each whistleblower provided the SEC with original information that led to a successful enforcement action.
In the first order, the SEC awarded over $3 million to a whistleblower. The whistleblower was an outsider solicited to invest in a product that they believed was being misrepresented. According to the SEC, the whistleblower “expeditiously contacted Commission staff to alert them of the conduct,” and the whistleblower’s “information prompted the opening of an investigation.” During the ensuing investigation, the whistleblower remained in contact with SEC staff.
In the second order, the SEC also awarded over $3 million to a whistleblower. This whistleblower was an insider who “raised concerns internally, and thereafter submitted a detailed tip that prompted the opening of the investigation, met with the Enforcement staff multiple times, identified key witnesses and documents, and provided supplemental informsation during the investigation,” according to the SEC.
“When confronted with potential wrongdoing, today’s whistleblowers refused to look the other way, but instead, chose to do the right thing by reporting it to the SEC,” said Creola Kelly, Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower. “Insiders and outsiders alike can make a tremendous impact on the SEC’s ability to detect misconduct and protect investors when they decide to become whistleblowers.”
Through the SEC Whistleblower Program, qualified whistleblowers, individuals who voluntarily provide the SEC with original information that leads to a successful enforcement action, are entitled to monetary awards of 10-30% of the funds recovered by the government in the enforcement action connected to their disclosure.
Since issuing its first award in 2012, the SEC has awarded approximately $1.3 billion to 276 whistleblowers. Individuals considering blowing the whistle to the SEC should first contact an experienced SEC whistleblower attorney to ensure they are fully protected and qualify for the largest possible award.
Geoff Schweller also contributed to this article.