On Friday, May 20th, the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower issued an order determining that it would award two whistleblowers $450,000 for voluntarily providing original information to the agency that led to a successful enforcement action. The two tipsters will split the award evenly. While the order does not provide any specific facts related to the action or the parties, the SEC’s press release describes it as a “corporate accounting investigation.”
Notably, the award marks the third bounty issued by the SEC in a single week. In the first award, the SEC awarded $3.5 million to an individual who provided information that bolstered the SEC’s ongoing investigation against a company. And for the second award, the SEC announced it would pay a former company insider between $5 million and $6 million – the third-largest award to date – for providing detailed information which helped the agency uncover securities violations that would have been nearly impossible for it to detect but for the whistleblower’s information. As a result, the SEC’s total payout for the week was over $10 million, and it has awarded more than $68 million to 31 whistleblowers since the program’s inception.
In its latest press release, Sean X. McKessy, Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower explained, “The recent flurry of awards reflects the high-quality nature of the tips the SEC is receiving as public awareness of the whistleblower program grows.”