The largest-ever whistleblower compensation given by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), worth a staggering amount of over $279 million, recently made history. This historic accomplishment tops the SEC’s $114 million whistleblower award from October 2020 and beats the previous record.
The Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, Gurbir S. Grewal, acknowledged his delight at the magnitude of the award. He emphasized that such a sizable sum not only highlights the outstanding effectiveness of the SEC’s whistleblower program but also offers significant incentives for whistleblowers to come forward with accurate information regarding possible violations of securities law.
As a consequence of information from whistleblowers leading to enforcement actions, wrongdoers have been forced to forfeit over $4 billion in illegal gains and interest, demonstrating the importance of this program in defending the interests of investors.
The whistleblower’s essential assistance was praised by Creola Kelly, the head of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower. Their persistent assistance, which consisted of several interviews and written submissions, was essential to the successful conclusion of the enforcement efforts.
It is significant to highlight that the money designated for whistleblower rewards comes from an investor protection fund created by Congress. The only source of funding for this fund is the fines that are paid to the SEC by those who break securities laws.
Whistleblowers must comply with the filing requirements specified in the whistleblower rules and voluntarily give the SEC original, accurate, and timely information that results in a successful enforcement action to be eligible for an award.
When the monetary consequences reach $1 million, whistleblower compensation might vary from 10 to 30 percent of the funds collected, depending on the specifics.
In compliance with the Dodd-Frank Act, the SEC maintains whistleblower anonymity and takes great care to protect their identities. To protect whistleblowers and encourage others to come forward without fear of retaliation, the Commission does not divulge any information that would reveal their identity.
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which was approved by former President Barack Obama, gave rise to the SEC’s whistleblower reward program in the middle of 2010. The bill also created the same program for the Commodities Futures Trading Commission at the same time.