On January 6, 2017, the SEC announced the first whistleblower award this year. The award of approximately $5.5 million, comes almost exactly a month after the SEC issued two awards totaling over $4.4 million.
Besides indicating that the whistleblower in this case reported information directly to the SEC, the SEC’s order announcing the award reveals few insights into either the case or the information that the whistleblower provided. In the SEC’s press release, Jane Norberg, Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower, praised the whistleblower for “boldly stepping forward while still employed at the company.”
After handing out more than $57 million in awards in its 2016 fiscal year, the SEC whistleblower program has now awarded approximately $142 million to 38 whistleblowers. As the SEC rings in 2017 with this large award, the SEC is clearly continuing to incentivize whistleblowers to report original information regarding alleged violations of securities laws.