SEC awards $500,000 to whistleblower under “safe harbor” provisions

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Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) officials said a whistleblower has been awarded more than $500,000 for providing information that helped the Commission and a partner agency file actions and address an ongoing fraudulent scheme.

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The whistleblower initially raised concerns internally before submitting a tip to the Commission.

“With this award, the Commission has awarded 40 individuals this fiscal year, surpassing last year’s record of 39 individual awards,” Jane Norberg, chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower, said. “The Commission has awarded whistleblowers nearly $200 million in the first half of FY21 alone.”

The information resulted in an internal investigation by the company, officials said, followed by a report to an outside agency, which provided the information to the SEC. Additionally, the whistleblower reported to the SEC within 120 days of reporting the violations internally to the company, per authorities.

Under the safe harbor provision of the SEC’s whistleblower rules, the SEC receives the whistleblower’s information as though it had been submitted to the agency at the same time it was internally reported, as long as the whistleblower also reports the information to the SEC within 120 days of the internal report.

Since issuing its first award in 2012, the SEC has awarded approximately $760 million to 145 individuals, with payments made out of an investor protection fund established by Congress and financed entirely through monetary sanctions paid to the SEC by securities law violators.

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