A tipster who reported a breach of the fiduciary duty owed to investors has received a multi-million dollar award from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) whistleblower program.

The SEC paid a whistleblower US$2.5 million for an initial tip and ongoing assistance to the regulator’s investigation that helped lead to a successful enforcement action.

“The whistleblower in this matter provided key evidence that supported charges related to a breach of fiduciary duties owed to investors,” said Jane Norberg, chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower. “This award highlights the impact whistleblower information has on the SEC’s ability to enforce the federal securities laws and the value whistleblowers can offer to the investing public.”

Separately, the SEC also announced that Norberg is leaving the agency later this month.

Norberg served as the whistleblower office’s first deputy chief, and took over as chief in 2016.

Under her watch, the SEC streamlined the awards review and adjudication process, and managed an expansion of its staff.

The office’s deputy chief, Emily Pasquinelli, will serve as acting chief after Norberg leaves.

So far, the SEC has awarded a total of US$762 million to 148 whistleblowers since 2012. In the first six months of fiscal 2021, it has already paid out US$200 million to 40 tipsters under the program, surpassing the record set in fiscal 2020.

These whistleblower cases have generated more than US$3.1 billion in sanctions, including more than US$1.8 billion in disgorgement, with $760 million of that total returned to harmed investors, the agency reported.