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The Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday awarded more than $150,000 to a whistleblower whose tips helped the agency stop a scheme that was defrauding investors.
The agency said the award amount represents 30% of the money collected by the SEC in the successful enforcement action, the maximum permitted under the law.
The award recipient provided significant information that allowed the SEC to “quickly open an investigation and obtain emergency relief before additional investors were harmed.”
“This is continued momentum and success for the SEC’s whistleblower program that is bringing our investigators valuable and timely information to stop ongoing frauds before additional investors can be harmed,” said Sean McKessy, chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower, in a statement.
The SEC is required by law to protect the confidentiality of whistleblowers and cannot disclose any information that might directly or indirectly reveal an identity.
As the SEC notes, this is the sixth whistleblower to be rewarded through the SEC’s whistleblower program since it began two years ago.
Earlier this month, a whistleblower was awarded more than $14 million.
Steve Crimmins, a partner with K&L Gates in Washington, who served for eight years as the SEC’s deputy chief litigation counsel, said at a recent securities enforcement conference in Washington that the recent award of $14 million will “get peoples’ attention” and will serve as a “game changer” for the whistleblower division in terms of the number of tips it receives.