The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) continues to hand out large financial awards to whistleblowers under its program created by the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010. Any whistleblower tips that lead to enforcement action worth more than $1 million in monetary damages make whistleblowers eligible for a 10 to 30 percent cut of the collected money. The SEC is also allowed to pay out awards based on any monetary sanctions collected by various other authorities for any actions related to successful enforcement actions.
The most recent SEC whistleblower award went to a group of three whistleblowers March 8, 2016. The award was worth $2 million total, including a $1.8 million cut that went to a whistleblower who voluntarily offered up the original information that led to the SEC opening the investigation. As the investigation progressed, that whistleblower continued to provide the agency with valuable information.
The other two whistleblowers each received approximately $65,000 for providing important information to the SEC after the investigation began. So, while they did not initiate the investigation, they provided original, necessary information that helped lead to the ultimate sanction.
A unique situation
This is a unique type of situation as far as SEC awards go, as two of the three people who received financial compensation for their roles in the investigation did not even provide information that launched it. The SEC evidently wants people to know that just because an investigation has already begun does not mean those who have additional information cannot come forward and assist the authorities.
SEC whistleblowers have been awarded more than $57 million in total since the program began in 2011. There have been a total of 26 whistleblowers provided with awards in that time.
To learn more about the SEC investigation process and how Dodd-Frank protections could impact your company, consult a skilled Dallas attorney with Whistleblower Law for Managers.