The Securities and Exchange Commission announced on March 19, 2018, its highest-ever Dodd-Frank whistleblower awards:
- two whistleblowers shared a nearly $50 million award
- a single whistleblower received more than $33 million
These awards unseated the previous record high award of $30 million in 2014.
Monetary awards are available to whistleblowers who voluntarily provide the SEC with original, timely, credible and significant information that enables it to pursue and remedy serious violations that might otherwise go unnoticed. The information must result in a successful enforcement action.
The SEC has awarded more than $262 million to 53 whistleblowers since issuing its first award in 2012. Whistleblower awards can range from 10 percent to 30 percent of the money collected when the monetary sanctions exceed $1 million. Also, whistleblowers can report jointly under the program and share an award.
By law, the SEC protects the confidentiality of whistleblowers and does not disclose information that might directly or indirectly reveal a whistleblower’s identity. Should a whistleblower's identity become revealed through whatever means, the SEC and Dodd Frank include provisions to protect a whistleblowing employee from retaliation by an employer. Courts have enforced whistleblower protection against retaliation through the award of significant back pay, front pay and litigation costs and expenses.