Before being awarded more than $3.5 million on Friday, the latest tipster to benefit from the Securities and Exchange Commission’s whistleblower program was rebuffed.

In January, the agency officials denied the whistleblower’s award application on the grounds that the tip did not lead the SEC to initiate an investigation or inquire into different conduct. Rather, the company employee’s information came in the midst of an ongoing investigation — and it initially did not “appear to have significantly contributed to the success” of the enforcement action, according to the final order approving the award.

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