October 25, 2020

SEC awards record-setting $114 million whistleblower award

On October 22, 2020, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced it had granted a $114 million award to a claimant who provided information and assistance which led to two successful enforcement actions.  The award—the highest in the SEC’s history—consisted of nearly $52 million awarded for assistance provided to the SEC, with another $62 million awarded for the successful enforcement of a related action handled by a second, unnamed agency.  The $114 million was more than twice as high as the previous record (a $50 million award in June 2020).  
According to Jane Norberg, Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower, the whistleblower’s actions were “extraordinary.”  The SEC Order states that the award was justified because (i) the whistleblower reported the concerns internally, (ii) the information submitted by the whistleblower caused the SEC to open its investigation, and also led to the second agency’s successful enforcement action, (iii) the whistleblower provided “substantial and ongoing assistance” during the pendency of the investigations, and (iv) the whistleblower “suffered serious personal and professional hardships as a result of” whistleblowing.
The SEC has awarded approximately $676 million to 108 whistleblowers since the program began in 2012.  

SEC Press Release | SEC Order