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SEC awards whistleblower $1.8 million for role in probe

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The Securities and Exchange Commission has issued a $1.8 million award to an unidentified whistleblower who voluntarily provided original information that prompted the agency to open an investigation, it said Tuesday.

Two other whistleblowers will receive $65,000 each for providing information after the investigation started, the SEC said.

The SEC has a policy of not disclosing information that may reveal a whistleblower’s identity.

The SEC said it has now paid more than $57 million to 26 whistleblowers since the program’s inception in 2011.

The SEC announced in December that auditor Grant Thornton L.L.P. will pay a $3 million settlement in connection with its audit of two firms, which reflects the agency’s ongoing “Operation Broken Gate” policy. Under that policy, which was announced in 2013, the SEC plans to pursue the auditors that sign off on firms that file fraudulent returns.