Photo by Scott S (Flickr/Creative Commons)

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) reported yesterday that it awarded three whistleblowers a total of $7 million for their assistance in bringing down an investment scheme that was targeting investors.

One whistleblower provided information that was a primary impetus for the start of the SEC’s investigation.  That whistleblower will receive more than $4 million.  Two other whistleblowers jointly provided new information during the SEC’s investigation that significantly contributed to the success of the SEC’s enforcement action.  Those two whistleblowers will split more than $3 million.

“Whistleblowers played an important role in the success of this case as they helped our agency detect and prosecute a scheme preying on vulnerable investors,” said Jane Norberg, Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower.  “Whistleblowers not only helped us open the investigation but provided critical information after the investigation was already underway.”

SEC enforcement actions from whistleblower tips have resulted in more than $935 million in financial remedies.

By law, the SEC protects the confidentiality of whistleblowers and does not disclose information that might directly or indirectly reveal a whistleblower’s identity.  Whistleblowers may be eligible for an award when they voluntarily provide the SEC with original, timely, and credible information that leads to a successful enforcement action.