The Securities and Exchange Commission awarded more than $1.8 million to a whistleblower who provided critically important information and assistance to an enforcement action involving overseas misconduct.
The SEC’s redacted award order (pdf) didn’t provide other details about the whistleblower or the company involved.
By law, the SEC protects the confidentiality of whistleblowers and doesn’t disclose information that could reveal their identity.
The SEC said the whistleblower provided “extensive and ongoing cooperation” that included the “review of documents and the provision of sworn testimony.”
“The misconduct occurred abroad, and without the whistleblower’s tip and assistance, the violations at issue would have been difficult to identify,” chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower Jane Norberg said.
The SEC didn’t say where the whistleblower in Thursday’s award was located, but the agency has made awards to at least four “overseas” whistleblowers.
In 2014, an overseas whistleblower collected $30 million. At the time it was the largest award under the SEC’s award program.
In 2017, a foreign national working outside the United States was awarded $4.1 million for providing information about “a widespread, multi-year securities law violation.”
In 2018, the SEC awarded an overseas whistleblower $4 million for “extensive assistance” that led to a successful enforcement action.
In July, an overseas whistleblower was awarded $500,000 and praised by the SEC for “expeditious reporting” that helped the agency bring a successful enforcement action.
Whistleblowers can be eligible for an award when they voluntarily provide the SEC with “original, timely, and credible information” that leads to a successful enforcement action.
Awards can range from 10 percent to 30 percent of the money collected when penalties are more than $1 million.
The SEC said Thursday it has now awarded $387 million to 66 individuals since its first whistleblower award in 2012.
Harry Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog.