What Have Been the Largest SEC Whistleblower Awards?

The SEC’s whistleblower award program has come a long way since it was first implemented in 2011. The pace at which awards have been given has increased quite a bit since then.

Whistleblowers are eligible to receive an award when providing the agency with credible, timely and unique information that leads to a successful enforcement action with a penalty of more than $1 million. Their award can be anywhere from 10 to 30 percent of the sanctions.

With 66 total whistleblower awards and counting since the program was implemented, there have been some substantial awards handed out. Here are a few of the most valuable.

  • $83 million: In March 2018, the SEC handed out its largest whistleblower award ever to a whistleblower who first reported misconduct internally to their employer and then submitted the information through the SEC’s reporting program. It was the first time a whistleblower was awarded as a result of a rule encouraging whistleblowers to report internally first, a rule designed to incentivize internal reporting. The award certainly also helped to incentivize that reporting practice.
  • $54 million: Also in 2018, the SEC handed a $54 million pot that was split between a pair of whistleblowers, one of who received $39 million and the other of whom received $15 million.
  • $50 million: Earlier this year, the SEC split a $50 million pot between two whistleblowers, one of whom received $37 million and the other of whom received $13 million. The agency did not disclose any information about the nature of the uncovered fraud.
  • $30 million: In 2014, the SEC handed out a landmark $30 million award, the largest award at the time. It was notable not only for the size of the award, but also for the fact that the whistleblower was located in a foreign country. This was the first time a foreign national received a whistleblower award.
  • $22 million: In 2016, a former Monsanto executive received $22 million from the SEC. The identifying information was revealed after the whistleblower spoke to the press.

For a more in-depth history of the SEC whistleblower program, contact an experienced attorney at Kardell Law Group.