SEC awards record $279 million for whistleblowers

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has just handed out its largest whistleblower award ever. The agency has been awarded major awards before for helping bust securities law violators. But the new payout, to an unspecified recipient, is over a quarter of a billion dollars.

Are you trying to make money in the crypto markets? Well, you might be in the wrong game. On Friday, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced today announce Record-breaking award for whistleblower. $279 million went to an unnamed individual or individuals who assisted the agency in prosecuting illegal activity. Although whistleblowers usually remain anonymous to protect their identity, even after enforcement action has run its course.

Breaking the record for whistleblower compensation

The prize is more than double the $114 million that was paid out in October 2020.

“Ongoing whistleblower assistance, including multiple interviews and written submissions, has been critical to the success of these proceedings,” said Creola Kelly, chief of the SEC’s whistleblower office.

“While the whistleblower’s information did not prompt the commission to open an investigation, their information expanded the scope of the alleged misconduct.”

The whistleblower can receive a reward of 10% to 30% of the financial penalties the SEC collects when penalties exceed $1 million. Congress created a prize-paying investor protection fund in 2011. The SEC’s fund consists of penalty money paid by violators of the securities laws. Affected investors do not contribute any money to the whistleblower awards.

In March, the SEC offered two separate awards of $3 million and $9 million to help enforce it.

The office was created after Dodd-Frank

The SEC’s whistleblower office came into existence in 2011 as part of the Dodd-Frank reforms. The Dodd-Frank Act was a response to the 2008 financial crisis and aimed to reform the financial industry by increasing openness, accountability, and investor protection.

Many countries have whistleblower hotlines for receiving anonymous tips on financial crime. Even if they don’t have specific offices to deal with. The UK Financial Conduct Authority has an anonymous hotline. France, Germany and other G7 countries have similar programmes. However, Canada only accepts complaints in writing, either by email or postal mail.


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