The SEC’s whistleblower program has awarded more than $175 million to 49 whistleblowers since issuing its first award in 2012, and these whistleblower-initiated actions have resulted in more than $1 billion in recoveries. The SEC awarded $37.7 million to 11 whistleblowers in 2017, and the year ahead may be a real game changer. The SEC’s 2017 Financial Report notes on page 33 that “[t]he SEC recognized a contingent liability for the year ended September 30, 2017 of $221 million, which represents a recognized liability for estimated whistleblower awards where the payment is considered probable.” In short, the SEC says it has whistleblower awards in the pipeline that exceed all SEC whistleblower program awards paid out to date.
The CFTC is also expecting to pay out significant awards in 2018. The CFTC’s 2017 Financial Report notes, on pages 57-58 and 108, that it has a contingent liability of $45.5 million for whistleblower awards that are expected to be paid in FY 2018. As with the SEC, the CFTC has whistleblower awards in the pipeline that exceed all CFTC whistleblower program awards paid out to date.