In July, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a $3.8 million award to a whistleblower who assisted the commission by providing crucial information during an ongoing investigation into a fraudulent scheme.
According to the press release the SEC put out to announce the award, the whistleblower provided the agency with information that “helped the Commission halt an ongoing fraud and return millions of dollars to harmed investors.”
This award is notable because it is a reminder that SEC whistleblowers can assist with existing investigations to be eligible for an award—the unique information they provide to investigators does not necessarily have to be about an entirely new case.
The whistleblower program had its 10-year anniversary this summer, as the Dodd-Frank Act which established whistleblower reward programs within the SEC and CFTC was passed in 2010. Since the SEC handed out its first whistleblower award in 2012, it has issued more than $505 million in whistleblower awards, and ordered more than $2.5 billion in financial remedies based on information provided by those whistleblowers, including $1.4 billion in disgorgement and prejudgment interest.
Whistleblowers who voluntarily submit original information are eligible for awards of anywhere from 10 to 30 percent of the resulting sanction money so long as that information significantly contributes to the investigation and enforcement action. The term “significantly contribute” means the information:
For more information about how to proceed with filing an SEC whistleblower complaint, contact an experienced attorney at Kardell Law Group.