SEC details whistleblower awards

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Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) officials said joint whistleblowers have been awarded over $50 million for alerting agency staff to violations difficult to detect without their information.

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Per the SEC, the circumstances involved complex transactions, noting the joint whistleblowers provided aid to staff during the investigation, including meeting with personnel numerous times and providing detailed documents. The award is the second-largest in the history of the program.

Jane Norberg, chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower, said the initiative reflects the contribution of joint whistleblowers to help recover funds for harmed investors.

“The SEC has now awarded over a quarter of a billion dollars to whistleblowers in the first seven months of this fiscal year alone, demonstrating the tremendous value of whistleblowers to our enforcement program,” she said.

The agency indicated it has awarded approximately $812 million to 151 individuals since issuing its first award nine years ago. Payments are made out of an investor protection fund established by Congress completely financed through financial sanctions paid to the SEC by securities law violators.

Whistleblowers may be eligible for an award when they voluntarily provide the SEC with original, timely, and credible information leading to successful enforcement action. Awards can range from 10 percent to 30 percent of the money collected when the monetary sanctions exceed $1 million.

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