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SEC awards $400K to whistleblower who first tried internal resolution

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The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has issued an award of more than $400,000 to a whistleblower who reported a fraud to the agency after the company failed to address the issue internally, the agency said Thursday.

The SEC said that, by law, it must protect the whistleblower’s confidentiality and cannot disclose any information that might directly or indirectly reveal his or her identity.

The SEC said the whistleblower provided the agency with “specific, timely and credible” information that allowed for a more rapid investigation than would otherwise have been possible.

It said the whistleblower had tried on several occasions, and through several mechanisms, to have the matter addressed internally at the company.

“The whistleblower did everything feasible to correct the issue internally. When it became apparent that the company would not address the issue, the whistleblower came to the SEC in a final effort to correct the fraud and prevent investors from being harmed,” said Sean McKessy, chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower, in a statement.

“This award recognizes the significance of the information that the whistleblower provided us and the balanced efforts made by the whistleblower to protect investors and report the violation internally,” Mr. McKessy said.