The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced a new whistleblower award in April. This time, the payout was worth nearly $4 million for a whistleblower who provided a valuable tip to the agency, and then assisted with the follow-up investigation.
According to the SEC, the whistleblower provided the agency with “detailed and specific information about serious misconduct.” The whistleblower then continued to assist during the investigation by providing “industry-specific knowledge and expertise.”
Whistleblowers who have specialized expertise and experience within a field can help the SEC more quickly complete its investigations, allowing the agency to expend fewer resources in the process. When they provide this level of assistance, whistleblowers stand to earn even more in an award than they would for simply providing a unique and detailed report to the agency regarding internal wrongdoing.
The latest SEC whistleblower award
The April award was the first SEC whistleblower award issued since January 23, when three whistleblowers split a $7 million pot for their assistance in an investigation.
The SEC protects the privacy and personal information of all whistleblowers and does not disclose any information that could reveal who they are. As of the time of this award, the agency had awarded $153 million total to 43 whistleblowers. The largest award was more than $30 million to a whistleblower in 2014. There have been a couple other particularly sizeable awards, including a $22 million award in August 2016 and a $20 million award in November 2016.
The value of these awards may be anywhere from 10 to 30 percent of the money collected, if the total penalties are worth more than $1 million. The SEC received approximately 4,000 tips in 2016 alone, and it has received more than 14,000 since the inception of its program about five years ago.
To learn more about how you can provide a tip to the SEC, speak with a trusted Dallas attorney at Whistleblower Law for Managers.