A whistleblower who forced his/her employer to pay over $4 billion in penalties to the State by exposing fraud has been given a record award of $279 million, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced on Friday.
"As this award shows, there is a significant incentive for whistleblowers to come forward with accurate information about potential securities law violations," Gurbir Grewal, director of the SEC's Division of Enforcement, said in a statement.
"While the whistleblower’s information did not prompt the opening of the Commission’s investigation, their information expanded the scope of misconduct charged," the SEC said in a statement.
To protect the identity of the whistleblower, the SEC did not disclose any information on their identity or their employer's.
The SEC's whistleblower programme, launched in 2012, is financed through a special fund replenished with fines paid to the agency.
Anyone who provides "original, timely, and credible information that leads to a successful enforcement action," can receive "10 to 30 percent of the money collected when the monetary sanctions exceed $1 million," the SEC explained in its statement.