SEC Awards Whistleblower More than $700,000

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has awarded a whistleblower more than $700,000 to a company outsider who conducted a detailed analysis that led to a successful SEC enforcement action.

Sean McKessy

Sean McKessy

“The voluntary submission of high-quality analysis by industry experts can be every bit as valuable as first-hand knowledge of wrongdoing by company insiders,” said SEC enforcement chief Andrew Ceresney.  “We will continue to leverage all forms of information and analysis we receive from whistleblowers to help better detect and prosecute federal securities law violations.”

Sean X. McKessy, chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower, said the award demonstrates the SEC’s “commitment to awarding those who voluntarily provide independent analysis as well as independent knowledge of securities law violations to the agency.”

“We welcome analytical information from those with in-depth market knowledge and experience that may provide the springboard for an investigation,” McKessy said.

According to the SEC order in the case, three other whistleblowers were denied awards.

The SEC’s whistleblower program has paid more than $55 million to 23 whistleblowers since the program’s inception in 2011.

Whistleblowers who voluntarily provide the SEC with unique and useful information that leads to a successful enforcement action may be eligible for an award.

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 entirely through monetary sanctions paid to the SEC by securities law violators.

No money is taken or withheld from harmed investors to pay whistleblower awards.


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