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SEC Awards $875,000 to Whistleblowers

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The Securities and Exchange Commission Tuesday announced a whistleblower award of more than $875,000 to be split evenly between two individuals who provided tips and assistance to help the agency bring an enforcement action.

The SEC’s whistleblower program authorized by the Dodd-Frank Act rewards high-quality, original information that results in an SEC enforcement action with sanctions exceeding $1 million. The awards can range from 10% to 30% of the money collected in a case.

However, the SEC is required by law to protect the confidentiality of whistleblowers and cannot disclose any information that might directly or indirectly reveal a whistleblower’s identity.

“These whistleblowers provided original information and assistance that enabled us to investigate and bring a successful enforcement action in a complex area of the securities market,” said Sean McKessy, chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower, in a statement. “Whistleblowers who report their concerns to the SEC perform a great service to investors and help us combat fraud.”

Eight whistleblowers have been awarded through the SEC’s program since it began in late 2011.

The agency gave its highest award last October: more than $14 million to a whistleblower whose information led to an SEC enforcement action that recovered “substantial” investor funds.

“Our whistleblower program already has had a big impact on our investigations by providing us with high quality, meaningful tips,” said SEC Chairwoman Mary Jo White, in a statement at the time. “We hope an award like this encourages more individuals with information to come forward.”

Check out SEC Awards $14 Million to Whistleblower on ThinkAdvisor.