The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has paid more than US$1.1 million to five different whistleblowers who provided the regulator with information that led to successful enforcement action.
The latest awards include a payout to a whistleblower who generated a tip based on their independent analysis of public information.
“Among other things, the whistleblower conducted an analysis using information from publicly available documents to calculate an estimate of an important metric for a company, and then showed that the company’s disclosures regarding that metric were implausible,” the SEC said in a release.
The regulator noted that this the fifth tipster in the current fiscal year (the SEC’s year ends Sept. 30) who received an award based on a tip generated by independent analysis.
In a separate case, three whistleblowers shared almost US$500,000 for providing information that generated two related enforcement actions.
The first tipster provided information that kicked off the SEC’s investigation. Two others then provided additional information that “significantly contributed” to the cases.
Finally, the SEC awarded nearly US$600,000 to another whistleblower that provided both the initial tip and ongoing assistance to investigators, including handing over documents and identifying potential witnesses.
“The whistleblower also repeatedly reported the concerns internally in an effort to remedy the violations,” the SEC said.
“These awards underscore the breadth of ways that company insiders, as well as whistleblowers not affiliated with a company, can positively impact SEC investigations,” said Jane Norberg, chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower, in a release.
“Whistleblowers who provide high-quality information or analysis may be eligible for an award where their information causes staff to open an investigation or meaningfully advances an existing investigation,” she added.
The SEC has now paid approximately US$737 million to 133 whistleblowers, since issuing its first award in 2012.