The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has given a $450,000 whistleblower award to an employee who had compliance-related job responsibilities at a company—only the third time in eight years that an award has gone to an individual with compliance or internal audit duties.

“When gatekeepers such as compliance officers, accountants or lawyers blow the whistle to the SEC, it is a sign that something is very, very wrong at that company,” said Jordan Thomas, head of the whistleblower practice at Labaton Sucharow. Thomas, a former assistant director and chief litigation counsel at the SEC, helped build the agency’s whistleblower program before he joined Labaton.

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