The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission will award $22 million to a former company employee whose tip helped the federal agency uncover fraud, according to a press release issued Tuesday.

"Company employees are in unique positions behind-the-scenes to unravel complex or deeply buried wrongdoing. Without this whistleblower's courage, information, and assistance, it would have been extremely difficult for law enforcement to discover this securities fraud on its own," Jane Norberg, acting chief of the SEC's Office of the Whistleblower, said in a statement Tuesday. Norberg did not disclose the industry in which the whistleblower worked.

The SEC compensates whistleblowers with 10 to 30 percent of collected money if the recovery is greater than $1 million, indicating the agency collected between $73 million and $220 million from the case.

It's the second-highest payout the agency has given in the five-year history of the whistleblower program. The agency has awarded 32 tipsters more than $85 million in that time. The largest, $30 million, was awarded in 2014.

All payments are made out of an investor protection fund that was established by Congress. The identity, even the sex of the whistleblower, is confidential in order to protect the individual.