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SEC hands out first award under whistle-blower program


The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has awarded its first payout of $50,000 to a whistle-blower as part of a new program to reward people who provide evidence of securities fraud, the agency said Tuesday.

The whistle-blower, who helped the SEC stop a multimillion-dollar fraud, does not wish to be identified. The award represents 30% of the amount collected in the SEC enforcement action against the perpetrators of the scheme, the maximum percentage payout allowed by the whistleblower law, the agency said.

The SEC said the whistle-blower provided documents and other significant information that led to a court ordering more than $1 million in sanctions, of which about $150,000 has been collected so far. The court is considering whether to issue a final judgment against other defendants in the matter, and any increase in sanctions collected will increase payments to the whistle-blower, the SEC said.

The whistle-blower program is authorized by the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

“The whistle-blower program is already becoming a success,” SEC Chairman Mary L. Schapiro said in a statement. We’re seeing high-quality tips that are saving our investigators substantial time and resources.”