(AP file photo)

As the U.S. debates the ethics of high-profile whistleblowers, the U.S. government is promoting and operating one of the most active whistleblower programs in the world, through the SEC. Created by the Dodd-Frank Act, the SEC’s Whistleblower program has been in effect since August 2011. In fiscal year 2011, the SEC reported that it received 3,001 whistleblower submissions. 

A case that results in successful prosecution by the SEC, with more than $1 million in civil sanctions ordered, can pay the whistleblower 10 percent to 30 percent of the amount. In August of 2012, the SEC announced payment of its first whistleblower award, $50,000, to a tipster who remains anonymous. (Note: The IRS, Department of Justice and Commodities Futures Trading Commission also operate whistleblower programs.)

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