Two whistleblowers who alerted the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to fraud or violations that put investors at financial risk will share an award of $50 million, the agency announced.

One of the whistleblowers received a $37 million share of the award and the other received an award of $13 million. The SEC commended the whistleblowers for their assistance in helping the agency bring a successful enforcement action.

“Whistleblowers like those being awarded today may be the source of ‘smoking gun’ evidence and indispensable assistance that strengthens the agency’s ability to protect investors and the capital markets,” said Jane Norberg, Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower. “These awards show how critically important whistleblowers can be to the agency’s investigation and ability to bring a case to successful and efficient resolution.”

The $37 million award was the third-highest bounty the SEC has paid out to a single informant since the SEC launched its whistleblower program in 2012.

The SEC protects the confidentiality of those who provide useful tips and other information and does not disclose information that could reveal an informant’s identity – a protocol established by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, which established the SEC’s whistleblower program.

To date, the SEC has awarded approximately $376 million to 61 individuals since issuing its first award in 2012.

All whistleblower awards are paid out of an investor protection fund established by Congress that is financed entirely through monetary sanctions paid to the SEC by securities law violators. The SEC does not take or withhold money has from harmed investors to pay whistleblowers.

Whistleblowers may be eligible for an award under the SEC program when they voluntarily provide the agency with original, timely, and credible information that leads regulators to a successful enforcement action.

The SEC’s whistleblower awards range from 10 percent to 30 percent of the money it collects when the monetary sanctions exceed $1 million.

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