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Overseas whistleblower awarded $4 million

The Securities and Exchange Commission awarded an overseas whistleblower $4 million for “extensive assistance” resulting in a successful action, the agency said Monday. 

Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower Jane Norberg said, “Whistleblowers, whether they are located in the United States or abroad, provide a valuable service to investors and help us stop wrongdoing.”

“This award recognizes the continued, important assistance provided by the whistleblower throughout the course of the investigation,” Norberg said. 

In Monday’s order (pdf), the SEC said the outcome of the action was a direct result of the whistleblower’s tip. 

The SEC didn’t specify the citizenship of the whistleblower. 

Last year, a foreign national working outside the United States was awarded $4.1 million for providing information on “a widespread, multi-year securities law violation.”

In 2014, the SEC awarded an overseas whistleblower $30 million. At the time it was the largest award under the whistleblower program. 

By law, the SEC protects the confidentiality of whistleblowers and doesn’t disclose information that might reveal their identity.

Since 2012, the SEC has awarded over $326 million to 59 individuals.

Awards are paid out of penalties the SEC collects from securities law violators, more than $1.7 billion in penalties have been ordered against violators based on information provided by whistleblowers.

Awards can range from 10 percent to 30 percent of the money collected when penalties are more than $1 million.

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Harry Cassin is the managing editor of the FCPA Blog.

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