The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced Tuesday that it has given out its first whistleblower award to an individual who helped the agency stop a multimillion-dollar fraud.
The award recipient, who asked the agency for anonymity, will receive $50,000, the first payout from the SEC’s program to reward people who provide evidence of securities fraud.
“The whistleblower program is already becoming a success,” said SEC Chairwoman Mary Schapiro, in a statement announcing the reward. “We’re seeing high-quality tips that are saving our investigators substantial time and resources.”
The award winner provided documents and other significant information that allowed the SEC’s investigation to move at an accelerated pace and prevent the fraud from ensnaring additional victims, the agency said. The whistleblower’s assistance led to a court ordering more than $1 million in sanctions, of which approximately $150,000 has been collected thus far. The SEC said the court is considering whether to issue a final judgment against other defendants in the matter. “Any increase in the sanctions ordered and collected will increase payments to the whistleblower,” the SEC said.