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Whistleblower gets $17 million for aiding SEC

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The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has granted its second-highest whistleblower award of more than $17 million to a former company employee whose detailed tip “substantially advanced” its investigation and ultimate enforcement action, the agency said.

The highest award the SEC has issued is more than $30 million, which was announced in September, 2014.

In May, the SEC issued a $3.5 million award to a company employee it said had bolstered an ongoing investigation with additional evidence of wrongdoing that strengthened the SEC's case.

The SEC does not disclose whistleblowers' names.

In announcing the $17 million award, Andrew Ceresney, director of the SEC's enforcement division, said in a Thursday statement, “Company insiders are uniquely positioned to protect investors and blow the whistle on a company's wrongdoing by providing key information to the SEC so we can investigate the full extent of the violations.

“The information and assistance provided by this whistleblower enabled our enforcement staff to conserve time and resources and gather strong evidence supporting our case.”