$30 million is a pretty big chunk of change for a tip, but this story isn’t about gratuity—unless you want to call paying $30 million for a tip from an anonymous source gratuitous.
Indeed, that is how much money U.S. securities regulators will dole out to the international tattletale who spilled the beans on crucial information which helped them to uncover a “difficult to detect” fraud that has been ongoing. This payment is part of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s new nationwide program designed to give incentive to anyone on the inside to report any wrongdoing they see.
Apparently, it is working.
“This record-breaking award sends a strong message about our commitment to whistleblowers and the value they bring to law enforcement,” said SEC Enforcement Director Andrew Ceresney.
This new measure comes after the SEC won the ability to do this during the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform period which now allows them to pay monetary rewards to whistleblowers in an attempt to prevent any kind of fraud or crime. Before this time, the SEC only had the right to offer rewards to people who informed specifically on insider trading cases.
But this new program also has its limits. The new program allows the SEC to pay a whistleblower but only if the information they provides leads to enforcement actions over sanctions which exceed $1 million USD. And the whistleblower can receive anywhere from 10 to 30 percent of the SEC’s take on the recovery of the fraud.
Obviously that means this particular case—with a $30 million reward—is really uncommon.
Law firm Phillips & Cohen LLP represented the anonymous whistleblower and declined to comment on the case, saying only that their client will, in fact, receive a minimum of $30 million and as much as $35 million.