(HedgeCo.Net) The Securities and Exchange Commission has awarded $16 million to two whistleblowers who provided information and assistance in a successful SEC enforcement action.
The first whistleblower prompted the opening of the investigation and provided information on difficult-to-detect violations. This whistleblower also identified key witnesses and provided critical information, which helped staff in their investigation. As a result, this whistleblower will receive an award of approximately $13 million. The second whistleblower submitted important new information during the course of the investigation and will receive an award of more than $3 million.
“The information and assistance provided by these two whistleblowers in helping to identify complex wrongdoing demonstrates the importance of the whistleblower program to the SEC’s enforcement efforts,” said Creola Kelly, Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower. “These whistleblowers reported critical information that aided the SEC’s investigation and provided extensive, ongoing cooperation that helped stop the wrongdoing and protect the capital markets.”
The SEC has awarded more than $1.3 billion to 281 individuals since issuing its first award in 2012. All payments are made out of an investor protection fund established by Congress that is financed entirely through monetary sanctions paid to the SEC by securities law violators. No money has been taken or withheld from harmed investors to pay whistleblower awards. Whistleblowers may be eligible for an award when they voluntarily provide the SEC with original, timely, and credible information that leads to a successful enforcement action. Whistleblower awards can range from 10 to 30 percent of the money collected when the monetary sanctions exceed $1 million.
As set forth in the Dodd-Frank Act, the SEC protects the confidentiality of whistleblowers and does not disclose information that could reveal a whistleblower’s identity.