Businessman Blowing Whistle Isolated on White Background

A tip that led to multiple investigations and revealed misconduct in other countries has produced yet another whistleblower award from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), pushing the program past the US$900-million mark in payouts to tipsters.

The SEC has awarded a whistleblower more than US$28 million for tipping off the regulator to conduct that touched off an investigation by the SEC and another unnamed federal agency, which ultimately resulted in successful enforcement actions.

In its order, the SEC said the tip led it to investigate a company’s conduct, which in turn prompted the company to self-report “similar improprieties in a different geographical region” because of the U.S. agencies’ investigations.

With this latest award, the SEC has paid approximately US$901 million to 163 tipsters since it first paid an award in 2012.

“The SEC has awarded more than US$900 million over the life of the program, including almost US$85 million to nine individuals in this month alone, which reflects the vitality and continued success of the SEC’s whistleblower program,” said Emily Pasquinelli, acting chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower.

The regulator also noted that the tipster may be eligible for an award from the other agency, given their eligibility for an award in the underlying SEC action.