WARSAW — The Securities and Exchange Commission recently awarded a large award to a surgeon who reportedly told his employer, Biomet, and later the commission about a kickback scheme operating in several foreign countries with the purpose of drumming up business for the Warsaw-based company, now part of orthopedic giant Zimmer Biomet.
The SEC announced that on May 24, it awarded $4.5 million to the so-called whistleblower after both the surgeon and Biomet reported the violation to the commission.
According to a press release from the commission, the award is the first of its kind where an anonymous person was awarded and given credit for exposing such a violation.
The report began as an internal, anonymous tip to Biomet by the employee. The company, already under intense scrutiny from a deferred prosecution agreement for violations in 2012, reported the 2017 tip to the SEC and agreed to pay an approximately $30 million enforcement action. The whistleblower, because he followed up his internal tip to Biomet with a call to the SEC, became eligible for the award.
Officials at Zimmer Biomet did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the case.
The SEC was established in 1934 to regulate the commerce in stocks, bonds and other securities.