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SEC announces record-breaking $114 million whistleblower reward

SEC announces record-breaking $114 million whistleblower reward
© Greg Nash

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has awarded a whistleblower more than $114 million, the agency announced Thursday, its highest reward for information that led to a successful crackdown.

The whistleblower was awarded $52 million for aiding the SEC and another $62 million for helping another unidentified agency with a related enforcement action. The award is more than twice the previous record payout for a whistleblower, set at $50 million in June 2020.

“Today’s milestone award is a testament to the Commission’s commitment to award whistleblowers who provide the agency with high-quality information,” said SEC Chairman Jay Clayton. “Whistleblowers make important contributions to the enforcement of securities laws and we are committed to getting more money to whistleblowers as quickly and as efficiently as possible.”

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The 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law empowered the SEC to offer financial rewards to whistleblowers who give the agency “original, timely, and credible information” that leads to a successful enforcement action. The SEC has paid out roughly $676 million to 108 whistleblowers since 2012, according to the agency, all drawn from a pool funded by penalties paid for securities law violations.

The SEC does not disclose the names of whistleblowers or the cases they helped cement in order to protect their identities. Rewards range from 10 percent to 30 percent of fines above $1 million collected by the agency, according to the SEC.

“The actions of the whistleblower awarded today were extraordinary,” added Jane Norberg, chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower.  

“After repeatedly reporting concerns internally, and despite personal and professional hardships, the whistleblower alerted the SEC and the other agency of the wrongdoing and provided substantial, ongoing assistance that proved critical to the success of the actions.”