Has the SEC paid a whistleblower for an FCPA-related tip? Yes, according to reports this week.
FCPA Today carried this item Tuesday morning:
Making FCPA History? The SEC doesn’t identify whistleblowers. But the Financial Review (Australia) said the SEC paid a BHP Billiton insider $3.75 million for information related to an investigation into bribery of Asian and African officials during the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
If the report is accurate, this may be the SEC’s first FCPA-related whistleblower award. In May this year, the SEC awarded “more than $3.5 million” to a whistleblower after first denying the claim. BHP paid the SEC $25 million in May 2015 to resolve an FCPA enforcement action.
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The SEC has now awarded more than $85 million to 32 whistleblowers since the whistleblower program started in 2011.
None of the awards had previously been linked to an FCPA enforcement action.
Whistleblowers can be eligible for awards when they voluntarily provide the SEC with “unique and useful information that leads to a successful enforcement action.”
Awards can range from 10 percent to 30 percent of recoveries when amounts collected are more than $1 million.
The SEC received more than 4,000 tips last year.