The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Whistleblower Office announced on Friday, May 20, 2016, that it was issuing its third award in a week, this time awarding $450,000 to two individuals for information that “led the agency to open a corporate accounting investigation and for their assistance once the investigation was underway.” Combined with the two previous award announcements, the SEC Whistleblower Program collectively issued $10 million in awards to four whistleblowers over just one week.
Sean X. McKessy, Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower, explained that “[t]he recent flurry of awards reflects the high-quality nature of the tips the SEC is receiving as public awareness of the whistleblower program grows. These two individuals not only submitted valuable tips to help open our investigation but also provided valuable assistance as we proceeded, showing that our program particularly rewards those eager to continue helping us throughout the process of bringing an enforcement action.”
Under the Dodd-Frank Act, whistleblowers who provide original information to the SEC that leads to an enforcement action are entitled to receive between 10 and 30 percent of the amount the SEC recovers from wrongdoers as a result of the whistleblower’s information. With this award, the SEC Whistleblower Program has now awarded more than $68 million to 31 whistleblowers since the program began in 2011.