Implemented in 2011, the SEC's whistleblower program has received more than 22,000 tips, secured over $2.5 billion in penalties and restitution, and awarded over $523 million to successful tipsters.
The Commission has just approved a set of amendments to the whistleblower program. Commissioners voted on a collection of proposals dating back to 2018. One of the proposed rules would give the agency the discretion to award the statutory maximum of 30% whenever the final amount would not surpass $2 million. This concept garnered support from the Commission, but the threshold has been adjusted to $5 million.
Another proposed rule would have granted the SEC discretion to reduce awards whenever monetary sanctions surpassed $100 million, but the commissioners voted against it.
After the SEC opened up the proposals for public comments, it received about 150 letters. Many respondents viewed the award reduction rule as a move to impose a cap on whistleblower bounties. A letter by Senators Sherrod Brown, Jack Reed, Elisabeth Warren, Patrick Leahy, Chris Van Hollen, and Cristopher Coons warned that "Regrettably, the Proposal could deter whistleblowers."...