SEC Awards $36 Million to Whistle-Blower for Enforcement Tip
(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission awarded $36 million to a tipster whose information resulted in an SEC enforcement action as well as a related case brought by another federal agency.
The whistle-blower provided crucial information on misconduct to the SEC and the other agency, which included multiple meetings and the identification of key documents and witnesses, according to a Friday statement from the regulator. Under the SEC’s program, tipsters can be paid for information that prompts sanctions by another agency.
“Whistleblowers can act as a springboard for an investigation or, like here, they can propel forward an already existing investigation,” Emily Pasquinelli, acting head of the SEC’s whistle-blower office, said in the statement.
The SEC has paid about $1.1 billion to 214 tipsters since issuing its first award in 2012, including a $110 million payment announced earlier this month.
Individuals are eligible for payments ranging from 10% to 30% of the fines collected in enforcement cases where penalties exceed $1 million. Funds used to pay tipsters don’t come out of disgorgement, the portion of a sanction that’s supposed to be returned to harmed investors.
Neither the whistle-blowers nor the firms accused of misconduct were identified by the SEC, in keeping with the federal government’s policy of withholding information that could reveal a tipster’s identity.
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