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US whistle-blowers get $2.5 million for alerting SEC to misconduct abroad

Bloomberg September 28 | Updated on September 28, 2020 Published on September 28, 2020

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will pay a total of $2.5 million to two whistle-blowers who provided tips that led to successful enforcement actions over wrongdoing that occurred overseas.

One tipster was awarded more than $1.8 million after taking both personal and professional risks in reporting information through a company’s internal compliance system that revealed conduct that would otherwise have been hard to detect, the SEC said in a statement on Friday. A second whistle-blower is getting $750,000 for providing information about securities law violations occurring abroad, it added.

Also read: $109-million award for Novartis whistle-blower

“Misconduct occurring overseas can have a major impact on US markets while at the same time remaining hard to detect,” Jane Norberg, head of the SECs whistle-blower office, said in the statement. “Today’s awards demonstrate the unique ability of whistle-blowers to help the SEC uncover and pursue these cases.”

Neither the whistle-blowers nor the companies involved in the misconduct were named by the SEC, in keeping with the federal government’s policy of withholding information that could reveal tipsters identities. Whistle-blowers are eligible for awards ranging from 10 per cent to 30 per cent of the amount of money collected in enforcement cases where penalties exceed $1 million. The funds aren’t taken from the money due to be returned to harmed investors.

Also read: How to invest in US equities

The SEC has paid about $525 million to 99 individuals since its first reward in 2012.

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Published on September 28, 2020
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