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SEC Whistleblower Program Had Biggest Year Ever in 2021

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What You Need to Know

  • SEC awarded approximately $564 million to 108 individuals in fiscal 2021.
  • The commission made more whistleblower awards in fiscal 2021 than in all prior years combined.
  • Whistleblower Program received a record 12,200 whistleblower tips during the year.

The Securities and Exchange Commission awarded approximately $564 million to 108 individuals in fiscal 2021 — both the largest dollar amount and the largest number of individuals awarded in a single fiscal year, the agency told Congress.

In its annual report to Congress, Emily Pasquinelli, acting chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower, said that FY 2021 “marked many milestones, including the highest number of awards, both in terms of dollars and individuals awarded, and the largest number of whistleblower tips received.”

From the inception of the program in FY 2011 through FY 2020, the Commission made approximately $562 million in whistleblower awards to 106 whistleblowers.

“This means that the Commission made more whistleblower awards in FY 2021 than in all prior years combined,” Pasquinelli said.

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The awards, she continued, made in FY 2021 also include the Commission’s two largest awards to date — a $114 million award to one whistleblower made in October 2020, and a combined $114 million award to two whistleblowers made in September 2021.

During the 2021 fiscal year, the SEC Whistleblower Program received a record 12,200 whistleblower tips.

Pasquinelli told lawmakers that the “success of the Commission’s whistleblower program in landmark FY 2021 demonstrates that it is a vital component of the Commission’s enforcement efforts. We hope the awards made this year continue to encourage whistleblowers to report specific, timely, and credible information to the Commission, which will enhance the agency’s ability to detect wrongdoing and protect investors and the marketplace.”