TheU.S. Securities and Exchange Commission paid $28 million to a whistle-blower who provided information that led to a successful enforcement action, adding to the eye-popping awards that tipsters have received from the agency this year.
“In the past month alone, the commission has awarded four whistle-blowers over $150 million,” Jane Norberg, chief of the SEC’s office of the whistle-blower, said in a statement. “I hope our recent awards will continue to incentivize whistle-blowers to come forward to report potential fraud or other wrongdoing.”
The SEC didn’t provide information on the individual’s identity or the company involved, citing federal law that protects confidentiality. The tipster reported the alleged misconduct internally, prompting the company to start an investigation. That saved the SEC time and resources by providing testimony and allowing the agency to identify a key witness, according to the statement.
The SEC has paid out loads of awards in 2020, including a record $114 million payment last month. For the fiscal year that ended in September, the regulator’s rewards totaled $175 million. The agency has paid out about $715 million to 110 individuals since issuing its first award in 2012.
Whistle-blowers are eligible for payouts if they voluntarily give the SEC unique information that leads to a successful enforcement action. Compensation can range from 10% to 30% of the money collected in cases where sanctions exceed $1 million.
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