On June 4, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced a nearly $50 million whistleblower award to an individual who provided detailed, firsthand observations of misconduct by a company, which resulted in a successful enforcement action that returned a significant amount of money to harmed investors. The SEC reported that this was the largest amount ever awarded to one individual under the SEC’s whistleblower program; the next largest is a $39 million award to an individual in 2018. Jane Norberg, Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower, explains that the $50 million award “brings the total awarded to whistleblowers by the SEC to over $500 million, including over $100 million in this fiscal year alone.”
The SEC’s Whistleblower Program, which is administered by the Office of the Whistleblower, was created in 2010 by the United States Congress to provide monetary incentives for individuals to come forward and report possible violations of the federal securities laws to the SEC. An “eligible whistleblower” is a person who voluntarily provides the SEC with original information about a possible violation of the federal securities laws that has occurred, is ongoing or is about to occur. The information provided must lead to a successful SEC action resulting in an order of monetary sanctions exceeding $1 million.Read more here.