SEC hands out first whistleblower award

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In this particular case, the SEC has already collected about $150,000 in penalties out of more than $1 million in eventual sanctions. It added that future charges could come as a result of the investigation, and a share of any future penalties would also find their way to the whistleblower.

Under Dodd-Frank, SEC whistleblowers can receive 10 to 30 percent of any fines collected by the agency that climb over $1 million, if the information they provide helps lead investigators directly to financial fraud.

"This whistleblower provided the exact kind of information and cooperation we were hoping the whistleblower program would attract,” said Robert Khuzami, director of the SEC’s enforcement division. “Had this whistleblower not helped to uncover the full dimensions of the scheme, it is very likely that many more investors would have been victimized.”

The SEC said it actually had two people come forward to reveal this particular fraud, but the award was only given to the one because the second failed to provide information that played a vital role in the enforcement effort. Roughly eight tips a day are coming into the whistleblower office, according to the SEC.