The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently announced a $3.5 million whistleblower award, the first of three awards handed out within the span of a week.
The whistleblower was an employee who provided a unique, helpful tip that gave new life to an ongoing investigation on a company. The additional evidence of wrongdoing provided by the tip bolstered the SEC’s case and ultimately led to a successful enforcement action.
More whistleblower awards of late
With three awards totaling more than $10 million offered within less than a week, there has been a flurry of whistleblower awards from the SEC recently. Part of this is because the SEC has gone to great lengths to ensure whistleblowers have more avenues to report wrongdoing than ever before. Additionally, SEC officials say the quality of tips they have been receiving has been steadily improving, which indicates efforts to educate the general public about whistleblower actions have been effective.
After accounting for all three of these latest whistleblower awards, there has now been more than $68 million handed out to 31 different whistleblowers under the SEC program. Whistleblowers are eligible to receive between 10 and 30 percent of money collected whenever enforcement actions lead to sanctions totaling more than $1 million.
This particular award was one of the most lucrative provided to an SEC whistleblower. At the time it was handed out, it was the third-largest award yet, but it was beat out just a couple of days later by a $5 million award. A $30 million award from 2014 and a $14 million award from 2013 still occupy the top two spots on the list.
If you would like to ensure your company has processes in place to respond to whistleblower issues, meet with the experienced Dallas attorneys at Whistleblower Law for Managers.