$114 million: Top 10 Largest Whistleblower Awards (2022)

Whistleblowers make tremendous contribution to SEC in detecting corporate frauds & manipulation.

Since the inception of Whistleblower program, SEC has given away more than $1.1 billion in awards to 214 people.

Two of the largest Whistleblower awards ever were given in 2020 & 2021, first was of $114 million award to a whistleblower in October 2021 & second was of $114 million award to two whistleblowers combined in September 2021.

In 2021, SEC received over 12,200 tips, which was up 76% as compared to 2020. This number was also the highest since the program started. The commission received tips not just from U.S but also from 99 other countries.

In 2021, SEC barred two people from whistleblower program, because they were abusing the system by submitting hundreds of frivolous award applications.

How Much SEC pays to the Whistleblowers?

Securities Whistleblower Incentives & Protection makes it mandatory for SEC to award whistleblowers whose provided information successfully results in monetary sanctions of over $1 million.

The award should not be less than 10% or more than 30% of the total monetary sanctions collected.

In 2021, SEC awarded approximately $564 million to 108 individuals, this was highest since the program started. In 2020, this tally was $562 million to 106 whistleblowers.

Top 10 Largest Whistleblower Awards (2022)

In October, 2020, SEC awarded the largest award ever awarded, to a whistleblower of $114 million.

YearAward Amount
October 2020$114 million
September 2021$110 million
April 2021$50 million
March 2018$50 million
June 2020$50 million
September 2018$39 million
March 2019$37 million
September 2021$36 million
March 2018$33 million
September 2014$30 million

#1. October, 2020 Award: $114 million

The October 20, 2020 award was the highest individual Whistleblower award ever paid, since the inception of the program of $114 million.

The claimant received $52 million from SEC & $62 million from a related agency. SEC doesn’t mentions more info, but it does mentions, the whistleblower faced serious personal & professional hardships due to the whistleblowing actions.

#2. September, 2021 Award: $110 million

On september 15, 2021, SEC awarded two whistleblowers with $114 million, out of which $110 million went to one whistleblower & $4 milion to the other. The first whistleblower used specialized skills & effort to contribute to investigation. The second whistleblower provided information, which was into length & breadth of first whistleblower.

#3. April, 2021 Award: $50 million

On 15 April, 2021, SEC awarded two whistleblowers about $50 million two give information about highly complex transactions which could have been difficult to trace without their crucial information.

Whistleblower Awards – Data & Facts

  • In 2021, Whistleblower award claimants came from 6 continents & out of total awards given, 20% were International.
  • In 2021, 56% awarded whistleblowers gave original information which started new investigation & 44% received awards because they contributed to an already ongoing investigation.
  • In 2021, 60% of the whistleblowers were the current or former insiders of the involved company & 75% of them had notified their supervisors about the wrongdoings.
  • In 2021, apart from US, SEC received whistleblower tips from 99 other countries led by Canada, China & UK.
  • Manipulation was the highest reported tip by allegation type. In 2021, SEC received 3,090 tips related to manipulation out of total 12,200 received in the year.
  • California led the nation followed by Maryland, Florida, New York, Texas & Pennsylvania in number of tips sent ranked by states.