On March 26, 2019, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced awards totaling $50 million to two whistleblowers whose high-quality information assisted the agency in bringing a successful enforcement action. One whistleblower received an award of $37 million and the other received an award of $13 million. The $37 million award is the SEC’s third-highest award to date after the $50 million award made in March 2018 to joint whistleblowers and more than $39 million award announced in September 2018.
The SEC has awarded approximately $376 million to 61 individuals since issuing its first award in 2012. All payments are made 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. Whistleblowers may be eligible for an award when they voluntarily provide the SEC with original, timely, and credible information that leads to a successful enforcement action. Whistleblower awards can range from 10 percent to 30 percent of the money collected when the monetary sanctions exceed $1 million.
The SEC protects the confidentiality of whistleblowers and does not disclose information that could reveal a whistleblower’s identity as required by the Dodd-Frank Act.