SEC Whistleblower Program Exceeds $100 Million In Awards Granted To Date

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]2016 SEC whistleblower awards to dateOn August 30, the SEC announced that as of 2016 SEC whistleblower awards to date have exceeded $100 million. That same announcement also provided other statistics and information about the performance of the SEC whistleblower program.

2016 SEC Whistleblower Awards To Date Exceed $100 Million

The first SEC whistleblower award was given out in 2012, “just over a year after [the SEC’s] Office of the Whistleblower opened for business.” As of 2016 SEC whistleblower awards to date have surpassed $107 million.  Those awards were granted to 33 different people. The SEC’s press release confirms that all SEC whistleblower awards are paid from a separate fund established by the U.S. Congress.  In paying these 2016 SEC whistleblower awards to date, “No money has been taken or withheld from harmed investors …”

The SEC Whistleblower Program

The SEC’s press release states that the Office of the Whistleblower has received more than 14,000 tips from SEC whistleblowers.  Those tips came from SEC whistleblowers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and 95 foreign countries, confirming that SEC whistleblower cases come from all over. Fiscal year 2012 was the first full year that the SEC’s Whistleblower Office was in operation.  That year, the SEC received 3,001 tips from SEC whistleblowers.  In fiscal year 2015, the SEC received nearly 4,000 whistleblower tips. According to the SEC’s press release, information and assistance provided by whistleblowers has enabled the SEC to obtain orders against violators of over $504 million in sanctions.  Of this amount, more than $346 million was for disgorgement and interest for harmed investors.

SEC Whistleblower Protections

The press release also provides some statistics about SEC whistleblower protections. To date, the SEC has brought four actions against public companies that put language into their confidentiality and severance agreements that impeded whistleblowers from reporting to the SEC. In addition, the SEC brought an enforcement action against an employer for retaliating against an SEC whistleblower. Moreover, the SEC granted its first ever award to a whistleblower who was retaliated against.  This whistleblower received the maximum 30% SEC whistleblower award payment. As stated in the press release, “By law, the SEC protects the confidentiality of whistleblowers and does not disclose information that might directly or indirectly reveal a whistleblower’s identity.”

Additional Information

For more information about the SEC whistleblower program exceeding $100 million in awards granted, click on the links below:
  • The SEC’s Press Release announcing that the SEC whistleblower program has exceeded $100 million in awards granted.  (External link to the SEC’s website.)
  • Article about the SEC exceeding $100 million in SEC whistleblower awards granted.  (Note:  external link to The Pickholz Law Offices website.)

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