On June 14, 2021, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) revealed a total award of approximately $3 million to two whistleblowers. According to the SEC’s press release, the whistleblowers separately and independently provided the SEC with valuable information and ongoing assistance, which included participating in multiple interviews and providing helpful documents. The whistleblowers’ assistance led to a successful SEC enforcement action.
In total, the SEC has awarded around $932 million to 172 individuals since the whistleblower program became effective in August 2011. All awards are paid out of an investor protection fund established by Congress that is financed entirely through monetary sanctions paid to the SEC by securities law violators. No money has been taken or withheld from harmed investors to pay whistleblower awards.
Congress established the whistleblower program to incentivize whistleblowers with specific, timely, and credible information about federal securities law violations to report to the SEC. A whistleblower may receive an award if they voluntarily provide the SEC with qualifying information, leading to successful enforcement. The award can range from 10 percent to 30 percent of the money collected due to the enforcement action.