A pair of foreign whistleblowers are sharing an award of more than US$5 million from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), whereas two other aspiring tipsters in the same case have had their bid for a reward denied.
The SEC announced that it has awarded more than US$5 million to joint whistleblowers from outside of the U.S. who provided a tip that caused it to open an investigation that resulted in a successful enforcement action.
“The whistleblowers’ information alerted the staff to misconduct occurring abroad which could have been difficult to detect without their tip,” said Jane Norberg, chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower.
The SEC noted that the information provided “directly supported certain allegations in the enforcement action.”
At the same time, the commission denied an application for a whistleblower award to two other tipsters in the same case, ruling that the information those two provided didn’t contribute to its enforcement case.
According to the SEC’s order, the tipsters that were denied awards argued that they provided information to the media that resulted in news reports that prompted an internal investigation, which uncovered misconduct.
Nevertheless, the regulator found that the second pair’s tips didn’t lead to the SEC opening an investigation, and that their actions didn’t satisfy the requirements for an award. The SEC’s order said that their information related to conduct by rival companies and didn’t aid the SEC’s enforcement action.
With the latest award to the two whistleblowers that were successful in the case, the SEC has now paid approximately US$758 million to 142 individual tipsters.