Photographer: Joshua Roberts/Bloomberg

Whistleblower Gets $22 Million From SEC in Second-Biggest Award

  • Tip on well-hidden fraud came from company insider, SEC says
  • Payout from agency is largest since $30 million award in 2014

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is giving $22 million, its second biggest payout ever, to a corporate insider who helped the regulator uncover a well-hidden fraud.

The whistleblower provided a “detailed tip and extensive assistance” that helped the SEC stop illicit conduct at the individual’s employer, according to a statement released Tuesday. The agency didn’t provide any information on the person’s identity or the company involved, citing federal law and the need to protect confidentiality.

The award was the largest since a $30 million payment announced in 2014. Whistleblowers are eligible for payouts if they voluntarily provide the SEC with unique information that leads to a successful enforcement action. Compensation can range from 10 percent to 30 percent of the money collected in a case beyond $1 million. The SEC said it has awarded more than $100 million since the inception of its whistle-blower program in 2011.

“Company employees are in unique positions behind-the-scenes to unravel complex or deeply buried wrongdoing,” said Jane Norberg, acting chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower. “Without this whistleblower’s courage, information, and assistance, it would have been extremely difficult for law enforcement to discover this securities fraud on its own.”

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