The United States Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday announced that it would award between $5 million and $6 million to a former company insider whose detailed tip led the agency to uncover securities violations that would have been nearly impossible for it to detect but for the whistleblower’s information.
Five million dollars is equivalent to N995.25Million at the official rate of N199 to a dollar.
“Employees are often best positioned to witness wrongdoing,” said Andrew Ceresney, Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement. “When they report specific and credible tips to us, we will leverage that inside knowledge to advance our enforcement of the securities laws and better protect investors and the marketplace.”
Tuesday’s award is the SEC’s third highest to a whistleblower. In September 2014, the agency announced a more than $30 million whistleblower award, exceeding the prior highest award of more than $14 million announced in October 2013.
Since the inception of the whistleblower programme in 2011, the SEC has awarded more than $67 million to 29 whistleblowers, including one for more than $3.5 million announced last week.
“The whistleblower programme has seen tremendous growth since its inception and we anticipate the continued issuance of significant whistleblower awards in the months and years to come,” said Sean X. McKessy, Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower.
By law, the SEC protects the confidentiality of whistleblowers and does not disclose information that might directly or indirectly reveal a whistleblower’s identity.
Whistleblowers may be eligible for an award when they voluntarily provide the SEC with unique and useful information that leads to a successful enforcement action.
Whistleblower awards can range from 10 percent to 30 percent of the money collected when the monetary sanctions exceed $1 million. All payments are made out of an investor protection fund established by Congress that is financed through monetary sanctions paid to the SEC by securities law violators. No money has been taken or withheld from harmed investors to pay whistleblower awards.
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