The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) revealed it has issued two whistleblower awards totaling more than $16 million.
The regulator noted that the whistleblowers who received the monetary awards provided information and assistance in a successful SEC enforcement action.
SEC awarded one whistleblower with over $13 million. This individual prompted the opening of the investigation. Furthermore, they provided information on violations that are difficult to catch. The whistleblower also identified key witnesses and provided critical information, which assisted SEC’s staff in their investigation.
The second whistleblower received over $3 million. They presented to the agency important new information during the course of the investigation.
Creola Kelly, Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower, said:
The information and assistance provided by these two whistleblowers in helping to identify complex wrongdoing demonstrates the importance of the whistleblower program to the SEC’s enforcement efforts. These whistleblowers reported critical information that aided the SEC’s investigation and provided extensive, ongoing cooperation that helped stop the wrongdoing and protect the capital markets.
So far, the agency has awarded over $1.3 billion to a total of 281 individuals since the first award was issued in 2012. Payment of the awards is taken out of an investor protection fund set up by Congress. It is financed through monetary sanctions of security law violations paid to SEC.
To be eligible for the award, a whistleblower needs to voluntarily provide the commission with reliable information that leads to successful enforcement action. The awards range between 10 and 30 % of the money collected by SEC when the sanction is for more than $1 million.
According to the Dodd-Frank Act, SEC must protect the identity of the whistleblower and not disclose any information that could reveal it.
Earlier in July, SEC awarded two whistleblower with over $6 million.