SEC awards tipster $17 million for ‘critical information’

abdelaziz Fathi

The US Securities and Exchange Commission awarded more than $17 million to a whistleblower who provided critically important information and assistance to an enforcement action involving covered and related actions.

According to the agency’s order, one whistleblower received the regulatory bounty for information and assistance that led the staff to open the investigation into “hard-to-detect violations.” He was the initial source that alerted the SEC to a previously unknown conduct and thereafter provided assistance that helped substantially advance investigations. Specifically, he gave useful information at the earliest stages of the investigation and later provided supplemental information.

“Today’s award underscores the SEC’s commitment to rewarding meritorious whistleblowers who provide valuable information and exemplary cooperation that advance the agency’s enforcement efforts,” said Creola Kelly, Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower.

CFTC issues a record-setting $200 million award

Committed to protecting the anonymity of informants, neither the tipster nor the firm accused of misconduct were identified by the regulatory agency.

Earlier this year, the CFTC announced an award of nearly $200 million to a whistleblower who provided assistance that led to a successful CFTC’s enforcement action, as well as two related actions spanning different countries, one by another unidentified US federal agency and a third action by a foreign regulator.

The insider had provided information that helped these regulators’ probes that led to roughly $3.0 billion in settlements and monetary sanctions. The $200 million is the largest amount ever awarded under the CFTC’s whistleblower program and far surpasses the next-largest award of $100 million made to an individual in July 2021.

The whistleblower could even get a higher bounty as he submitted a payout claim in connection with a third related action by a state regulator. However, his request was denied because the tips he provided was never shared with that state regulator.

The US regulators consider several factors in determining the size of whistleblower awards. As long as their internal disclosure prompted a company investigation, they can benefit from all the information discovered in that investigation.

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