Financial regulator says SEC whistleblower paid $ 1 billion

Financial regulator says SEC whistleblower paid $ 1 billion

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Gary Gensler testifies before the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee on SEC oversight on Capitol Hill on September 14, 2021 in Washington.

Evelyne Hawkstein | swimming pool | Reuters

The total amount of payments made to whistleblowers exceeded $ 1 billion, the Securities and Exchange Commission said on Wednesday after the financial watchdog bestowed its second-largest wrongdoing award on an individual.

The SEC said this week that an individual received a combined $ 110 million for information and assistance that led to successful enforcement action by the SEC and other entities.

About $ 40 million of that payment was related to an SEC matter, with the remainder coming from related actions by other undisclosed agencies.

The total was close to the record $ 114 million awarded by the regulator last October, which began rewarding whistleblowers in 2012.

Another person recently received a whistleblower reward of $ 4 million, the SEC said, bringing the number of such payments to over $ 500 million this year.

Earlier this year, the third largest whistleblower award was awarded for $ 50 million.

By law, the SEC does not disclose the identity or information of whistleblowers that could reveal their identity.

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According to the agency, since the program began, the SEC has paid more than $ 1.07 billion to 207 whistleblowers whose mission is to protect investors and maintain fair and efficient markets.

These payments, which range in value from 10 to 30 percent of SEC-imposed monetary penalties that exceed $ 1 million, are funded by the penalties, not by the investors who have been harmed.

The SEC said information provided by whistleblowers since the start of the program has resulted in more than $ 4.8 billion in financial recourse.

“We just took a big step forward,” SEC Chairman Gary Gensler said in a tweeted video that exceeds the $ 1 billion payment limit.

“Every whistleblower has provided an important service,” Gensler said. “When I look at the commission’s enforcement actions every week, I remember how the whistleblower program helps us become better cops on the ground, carry out our mission, and protect investors from misconduct. “

In this video, Gensler encourages you to visit the SEC’s TIP website: www.sec.gov/whistleblower.

Earlier Wednesday, in an interview with CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street,” Gensler said the SEC faces a number of tough enforcement issues, even though it has 5% fewer staff. than five years ago.

“We have the IPO boom, we have the SPAC boom, we have cryptocurrencies to manage,” Gensler said. “I at least want to come back [staff level] Where we were in 2016 and I think we should probably be 5% or 10% bigger than that. “

Gensler told the Senate on Tuesday that he needed “a lot more people” to help him manage the thousands of new digital assets, such as cryptocurrencies.

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