Whistleblower lands a $22 million payday from SEC for tips about Monsanto fraud

Global banking system under attack
Global banking system under attack

It pays to have a conscience.

Just ask the person who landed a $22 million payday for helping federal regulators put an end to a "well-hidden" securities fraud, the Securities and Exchange Commission said Tuesday.

The recipient's attorney, Stuart Meissner, confirmed the reward stemmed from an investigation into Monsanto (MON) that concluded earlier this year. The company was hit with an $80 million fine in February after the SEC discovered Monsanto had misstated years worth of sales numbers for its Roundup herbicide.

Related: Monsanto CEO returns $3 million in bonuses after accounting error

According to a SEC press release, the whistleblower gave a "detailed tip" and "extensive assistance" to authorities.

Jane Norberg, who heads the SEC's Office of the Whistleblower, said in a statement that it would have been "extremely difficult for law enforcement to discover this securities fraud on its own."

The attorney and the SEC declined to reveal the whistleblower's identity. An SEC spokesperson said it is routine to keep the name of the company and the fraud secret to protect the whistleblower's identity.

Related: Big bank whistleblower turns down reward worth millions

The commission began offering rewards to tipsters in 2011, and it's now awarded more than $107 million to 33 people.

The $22 million reward is the second largest the SEC has ever given out. The largest was a $30 million prize issued in 2014.

Other agencies also compensate whistleblowers. The Justice Department, for example, awarded a massive $168 million payment in 2013 to an unspecified number of people who gave information about illegal marketing and kickback payments at Johnson & Johnson (JNJ).

Personal Finance

CNNMoney Sponsors