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FCPA Blog Daily News

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Tuesday
Apr252017

SEC whistleblower awarded nearly $4 million

The Securities and Exchange Commission Tuesday announced an award of nearly $4 million to a whistleblower who tipped the agency and helped with the follow-on investigation.

The SEC said the whistleblower provided "detailed and specific information about serious misconduct."

The whistleblower then helped the SEC during the ensuing investigation with "industry-specific knowledge and expertise," the agency said.

The SEC's Jane Norberg said "whistleblowers with specialized experience or expertise can help us expend fewer resources in our investigations and bring enforcement actions more efficiently.”

It was the first SEC whistleblower award since January 23 when three whistleblowers split more than $7 million.

The SEC's readacted award order is here (pdf).

By law, the SEC protects the confidentiality of whistleblowers and doesn't disclose information that might reveal who they are.

The SEC has now awarded about $153 million to 43 whistleblowers.

The biggest award was more than $30 million in 2014. The second biggest award was $22 million in August 2016. And in November 2016, the SEC awarded more than $20 million to a whistleblower.

Whistleblower awards can range from 10 percent to 30 percent of the money collected when the penalties are more than $1 million. 

The SEC received about 4,000 tips in the latest reporting year and more than 14,000 since the award program started. Tips have come from individuals in all 50 states and the District of Columbia and 95 foreign countries.

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Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog.