SEC Gives Whistle-Blower Award to Insider With Some Culpability

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By Andrew Ramonas

A corporate insider collected more than $1.7 million for reporting fraud in which the whistle-blower bore “some, albeit limited, culpability,” the SEC said July 27.

The tipster disclosed an “ongoing securities law violation” that would have been “difficult to detect,” according to a Securities and Exchange Commission award order. His assistance helped investors recoup “millions of dollars” through an SEC enforcement action, the agency said.

The commission can’t name whistle-blowers or release information that could reveal who they are. Tips that bring SEC sanctions totaling at least $1 million can get 10 to 30 percent of the penalties under a Dodd-Frank Act cash award program.

The reward comes as Congress considers a Republican-led Dodd-Frank overhaul that would deny bounties to culpable whistle-blowers. The legislation, known as the Financial Choice Act (H.R. 10), passed the House in June.

''This whistleblower’s valuable information enabled us to stop further investor harm and ultimately return money to victims,” Jane Norberg, chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower, said in a statement.

About $158 million has gone to 46 tipsters through the whistle-blower program, according to the SEC. The total includes almost $2.5 million awarded to an unnamed government employee earlier that week.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Ramonas in Washington at aramonas@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Phyllis Diamond at pdiamond@bna.com

For More Information

To view the award order, visit https://www.sec.gov/rules/other/2017/34-81227.pdf.

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