The Securities and Exchange Commission has rewarded an unnamed whistleblower with $279 million, the largest payout in the agency’s history.

Without naming the case the whistleblower’s information led to, Gurbir S. Grewal, director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, said the SEC hopes the award “incentivizes whistleblowers to come forward with accurate information about potential securities law violations.”

Whistleblower tips have led to SEC enforcement actions netting more than $4 billion in ill-gotten gains and interest, Gurbir said.

The whistleblower’s voluntary interviews and written documents shared with the SEC did not initiate the agency’s investigation but “expanded the scope of misconduct charged” and led to a successful enforcement action and two related actions, added Creola Kelly, chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower.

The SEC’s previous record whistleblower award was $114 million in October 2020, also to an anonymous person.

The money is drawn from monetary sanctions paid to the SEC’s investor protection fund by securities law violators, as ratified by Congress. No money was taken from disgorgement funds taken from harmed investors, the SEC said.

The SEC pays whistleblower awards of 10% to 30% of money collected from monetary sanctions exceeding $1 million.

A provision of the Dodd-Frank Act permits the SEC to protect the confidentiality of whistleblowers.

More information on the SEC’s whistleblower program and how to report a tip can be found at: The SEC seeks “original, timely and credible information that leads to a successful enforcement action.”

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