The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced awards of approximately $110 million and $4 million to two whistleblowers whose information and assistance led to successful SEC and related actions.
The first whistleblower's $110 million award consists of an approximately $40 million award in connection with an SEC case and an approximately $70 million award arising out of related actions by another agency. The first whistleblower provided significant independent analysis that substantially advanced the SEC's and the other agency's investigations.
"Whistleblowers can play an extraordinary role in helping the SEC ferret out wrongdoing," Emily Pasquinelli, Acting Chief of the SEC's Office of the Whistleblower, is quoted in a press release. "Whistleblowers may provide critical information based on their own independent analysis that facilitates the SEC's investigation and the successful resolution of the enforcement action."
The second whistleblower voluntarily provided original information that led to the successful enforcement action, but this information was provided to the SEC after the staff had opened an investigation and undertaken significant investigative steps, and was much more limited as compared to the information and assistance provided by the first whistleblower.
With these awards, the SEC's whistleblower program has now paid more than $1 billion in awards to 207 whistleblowers, including over $500 million in fiscal year 2021 alone. The $110 million award stands as the second-highest award in the program's history, following the over $114 million whistleblower award the SEC issued in October 2020.
"The assistance that whistleblowers provide is crucial to the SEC's ability to enforce the rules of the road for our capital markets,” said SEC Chair Gary Gensler.
Whistleblowers may be eligible for an award when they voluntarily provide the SEC with original, timely, and credible information that leads to a successful enforcement action. Whistleblower awards can range from 10-30% of the money collected when the monetary sanctions exceed $1 million.
"The whistleblower program has been instrumental to the success of numerous enforcement actions since it was instituted a decade ago," said SEC Director of Division of Enforcement Gurbir S. Grewal. "We hope that today's announcement encourages whistleblowers to continue to come forward with credible information about potential violations of the securities laws."
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