The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has awarded over $30 million to a whistleblower, the largest ever award for a whistleblower’s information which led to a successful SEC enforcement action. The SEC program, in place since 2011, is meant to motivate tipsters from all over the world to come forward with credible information about violations of U.S. securities laws.
The whistleblower in this case, from a foreign country, brought forward information about an ongoing fraud. According to the SEC, the award of over $30 million could have been even larger had the tipster come forward sooner. The award was reduced due to the whistleblower’s delay in reporting the misconduct. This award is more than double the previous high for an SEC award of $14 million, which was awarded to a whistleblower in October 2013.
Under the SEC’s whistleblower program, tipsters are encouraged to come forward with credible, quality, original information about violations of U.S. securities laws that lead to a successful enforcement action of more than $1 million. The whistleblower awards can range from 10-30% of the money collected in a case. Most importantly, the whistleblower’s identity and confidentiality are strictly protected, so that tipsters can safely come forward.