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The number of whistle-blower tips and complaints to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of the Whistleblower increased 7.9% from the previous year to 3,238 in fiscal year 2013, the SEC said in its annual report to Congress.
The program, which is now in its third year of operation, was mandated by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. From the whistle-blower program’s establishment in August, 2011, it has received 6,573 tips and complaints from whistle-blowers, according to the report, which was issued late last week.
The annual congressional report is required under Dodd-Frank rules.
The report states that in September 2013, the SEC made its largest whistle-blower award to date when it awarded more than $14 million to a whistle-blower whose information led to an SEC enforcement action that recovered substantial investor funds.
Further details, including the whistle-blower’s identity, were not released.
Since its inception, the commission has granted awards to six whistle-blowers, with four whistle-blowers receiving awards in fiscal year 2013, according to the report.
Commenting on the report, Edward T. Ellis, a shareholder with law firm Littler Mendelson P.C. in Philadelphia who is co-chair of the firm’s whistle-blowing and retaliation practice, said the more than 3,200 complaints is a “fair number,” given that there are only about 6,000 publicly-traded companies in the United States.