On May 17, 2021, the SEC announced payment of more than $31 million to four whistleblowers who provided the SEC with information that resulted in the return of tens of millions of dollars to harmed investors. The largest of the awards, totaling almost $27 million, was awarded to two joint whistleblowers who provided the SEC with new information and assisted with an existing investigation. The second order included awards of approximately $3.75 million and $750,000 to two additional whistleblowers who independently provided information that assisted the SEC with an ongoing investigation. (The orders granting the respective awards can be accessed here and here.)
Emily Pasquinelli, Acting Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower, stated that “[w]histleblowers play a critical role in an investigation, whether at the outset or during the course of an investigation.” She added that “[t]oday’s awards demonstrate that whistleblowers with specific, credible information who significantly contribute to the success of an existing investigation may be eligible for an award.”
Since the inception of the whistleblower program in 2011, the SEC has awarded approximately $873 million to 162 individuals, including over a quarter of a billion dollars in the first eight months of this fiscal year alone.