The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently awarded $3 million to joint whistleblowers despite concluding that the whistleblowers did not satisfy the technical eligibility requirements for receiving an award. See SEC Exchange Act Release No. 86010. The SEC Whistleblower Program has ramped up significantly the past few years, with record numbers of complaints being filed and awards being granted. In 2018, the SEC made two of its largest whistleblower awards: an $83 million award to three individuals; and an award of almost $54 million to two individuals. And the number of SEC whistleblower complaints filed has increased every year, culminating in over 5,200 complaints in fiscal year 2018 (ending September 30). To date, the SEC has awarded more than $284 million to 64 whistleblowers. While the amount of the recent $3 million whistleblower award may not be major news, the SEC’s determination to grant the award to ineligible whistleblowers warrants review.
Continue reading to learn more about about the SEC Whistleblower Program and the SEC’s rationale for waiving the eligibility requirements in the June 3 case.