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SEC Announces Whistleblower Award for Government Employee

November/December 2017

Corporate Governance Advisor (Vol. 25, No. 6)

On July 25, 2017, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that it would grant $2.5 million "to an employee of a domestic government agency whose tip helped launch an SEC investigation and whose continued assistance enabled the SEC to address a company's misconduct." The government employee assisted the SEC by providing tips that led to the opening of the case, and by furnishing key documents and testimony. Importantly, the SEC indicated that the agency where the whistleblower worked had law enforcement responsibilities. The SEC's order makes government employees eligible for whistleblower awards and creates both uncertainty and opportunity for a monetary award for government employees who may possess information relevant to SEC enforcement actions.

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