SEC has Largest Year on Record Paying $564 Million in Whistleblower Awards

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) finished fiscal year 2021 with record breaking rewards, paying a combined $564 million. The SEC also reached a new high for total whistleblower award recipients at 108 individuals.

The SEC whistleblower reward program is a program authorized by Congress to reward individuals who bring forward information about security fraud or other wrongdoing resulting in SEC sanctions and recoveries. After the SEC secures a sanction or verdict, whistleblowers can receive a portion of the sanction. This program is intended to entice those with knowledge of wrongdoing to step forward and reveal information to government agencies.

Our whistleblower attorneys work with individuals to assist in protecting their identity, working with the SEC or other government agencies, and assisting in securing an award. To schedule a free and private legal consult with our whistleblower law firm, contact us at 1-800-689-0024 or

SEC Whistleblower Program 2011 to 2020

The SEC paid a combined $562 million from the inception of its whistleblower reward program in 2011 through 2020, to a total of 106 individuals.

Fiscal year 2021 had both more payouts in rewards and more individuals receiving awards.  The SEC has ramped up its whistleblower program to such a degree that the last year represents more than half of the total payout for the decade.  The number of tips received each year has grown from 3,000 a year to 12,000 a year, a 300% growth.

SEC Whistleblower tips 2012 to 2021

Record Individual Awards

The SEC awarded its largest awards during fiscal year 2021.  A $114 million award occurred in October 2020, with a $110 million award following in September 2021. Four of the largest eight individual awards occurred during the SEC’s 2021 fiscal year.

SEC largest whistleblower awards

SEC Whistleblower Rule Amendments

In September 2020, the SEC adopted new rules to speed up processing and approval of whistleblower rewards.  Adopting a presumption of maximum 30% rewards for sanctions and recoveries below $5 million, which is the most common size, has assisted in the speed in which awards can be given.

The SEC also expanded the types of actions that can result in whistleblower awards, expanding the reward program to more cases. Deferred Prosecution Agreements and Non-Prosecution Agreements are now eligible to be considered a “related action” eligible for awards.

Reporting Security Fraud

To read more on the SEC whistleblower program, how to report security fraud, how to find an attorney to assist you, and more about whistleblower rewards, please read our SEC whistleblower FAQ.

SEC Related Actions

Under the SEC Whistleblower Program, monetary awards are given after successful “related action” from original information supplied by a whistleblower.  A single whistleblower can receive multiple awards if multiple actions are taken because of their provided information. A related action is an administrative action or judicial action brought by the Attorney General of the United States, or state Attorney General in a criminal case, or an action by another regulatory authority.

Whistleblowers themselves involved in the wrongdoing can still receive an award, however it may be reduced for participating in the event. It can also be reduced based on the length of time a whistleblower was aware of or participated in an event before reporting.  For more on related actions, visit our SEC whistleblower page.

SEC Whistleblower Attorney

Schneider Wallace represents SEC whistleblowers. To schedule a free and private legal consult with our whistleblower law firm, contact us at 1-800-689-0024 or

We can help make sure you are eligible for an award and can maintain your anonymity during the whistleblower and award process.