On April 25, 2017, the Securities and Exchange Commission issued a Dodd-Frank whistleblower award of nearly $4 million. This was the first bounty award that was issued from start-to-finish (i.e. from the preliminary determination stage through final order) since Trump’s inauguration. To maintain the whistleblower’s confidentiality, the SEC declined to disclose the organization involved. The agency did acknowledge, however, that the whistleblower submitted “detailed and specific information about serious misconduct and provided additional assistance during the ensuing investigation.” In its release, the SEC noted that enforcement actions like this one have resulted in more than $953 million in financial remedies against wrongdoers, and approximately $153 million in awards to whistleblowers.
While many have questioned how vigorously the SEC will pursue whistleblower protection during the Trump presidency, this award suggests that the SEC’s bounty program is likely to remain active and largely unchanged.