SEC Pays Whistleblower Award of More than $3 Million
On July 17th, the SEC announced its 18th whistleblower award since the program’s inception – this one for over $3 million, the third highest to date. This puts the award total at over $50 million.
Due to the agency’s commitment to whistleblower confidentiality, the SEC’s press release was slim on details of the fraud or the whistleblower. However, the SEC took the award as an opportunity to praise the whistleblower’s contribution and encourage additional submissions from those with knowledge of financial fraud.
The press release described the recipient of the $3 million award as “a company insider whose information helped the SEC crack a complex fraud.” The press release went on to describe how “[t]he whistleblower’s specific and detailed information comprehensively laid out the fraudulent scheme which otherwise would have been very difficult for investigators to detect.” The SEC further specified that the whistleblower’s initial tip lead to related actions that increased the whistleblower award.
Sean McKessy, Chief of the Office of the Whistleblower, commended the award as “another testament to the agency’s commitment to reward those who provide high-quality information that leads to successful enforcement actions and related actions.” Andrew Ceresney, Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, echoed this sentiment by describing how “[i]nsiders may hold the key to helping our investigators unlock intricate fraudulent schemes” and thus “[b]y providing significant financial incentives for people to come forward, the SEC’s whistleblower program continues to be profoundly effective in helping  protect investors and hold wrongdoers accountable.”