Pay-out is second largest from US whistleblower programme

The US government has awarded a whistleblower $22 million (£16.5 million) for tipping off authorities to financial fraud at the agrochemical giant Monsanto.

The former Monsanto employee has received the money through the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) whistleblower programme. Set up in 2011 to encourage those aware of company fraud to come forward, the programme has doled out over $107 million to 33 whistleblowers.

Back in February 2016, Monsanto agreed to pay an $80 million fine after misrepresenting earnings for its signature weedkiller, Roundup, over a three-year period. The SEC was tipped off to the financial irregularities by an employee who had first tried to resolve the issue internally.

Under SEC rules, a whistleblower can receive anywhere between 10 to 30% of the fine if the penalty exceeds $1 million. The $22 million pay-out is the second largest in the programme’s history after one whistleblower received $30 million in 2014.