Whistleblower receives massive payout

The Whistleblower received the funds after assisting regulator in uncovering a complex fraud

The whistleblower, who provided a “detailed tip and extensive assistance”, is receiving US$22 million – the second biggest payout ever given by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The whistelblower, a former Monsanto Co executive, tipped off the SEC about accounting misconduct related the company’s top-selling Roundup product. A statement said that the whistleblower played a key role in preventing illicit conduct at the firm.

“Company employees are in unique positions behind-the-scenes to unravel complex or deeply buried wrongdoing,” said Jane Norberg, acting chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower. “Without this whistleblower’s courage, information, and assistance, it would have been extremely difficult for law enforcement to discover this securities fraud on its own.”

According to a statement released by lawyer, Stuart Meissner in New York, the award was tied to an $80 million settlement between the SEC and Monsanto in February. Monsanto said in an emailed statement, "It would be inappropriate for our company to comment on the SEC’s whistleblower program or this specific award."

The largest award given to a whistleblower was $30 million, which has handed out in 2014, and the SEC’s whistleblower program has awarded more than $100 million since its inception in 2011.

“Whistleblower awards can range from 10 percent to 30 percent of the money collected when the monetary sanctions exceed $1 million,” said a Securities and Exchange Commission release. “All payments are made out of an investor protection fund established by Congress that is financed through monetary sanctions paid to the SEC by securities law violators. No money has been taken or withheld from harmed investors to pay whistleblower awards.”