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SEC gives whistle-blower $50,000

WASHINGTON — The Securities­ and Exchange Commission has awarded $50,000 to a whistle-blower in its first payout from a program started last year to reward people who provide regulators with evidence of securities fraud.

The whistle-blower helped the SEC bring an enforcement action that resulted in more than $1 million in sanctions, the agency said Tuesday. The award represents 30 percent — the maximum allowed under the Dodd-Frank Act — of the approximately $150,000 collected so far.

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The agency set up a whistle-blower program in August 2011 to reward individuals who provide evidence of securities law violations that results in sanctions of more than $1 million. The program was authorized in the 2010 financial-regulation overhaul, which said awards could range from 10 percent to 30 percent of the money collected.

The SEC, which did not name the whistle-blower or identify the enforcement action, said it rejected a claim from a second person in the same matter because the information the person provided did not lead to or significantly contribute to the action.

Bradley Bondi, a former SEC attorney who is now a partner at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP in Washington, said that even though the award is relatively small in this case, it’s notable that the SEC awarded the maximum amount it could under the rules.

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