D.E. Shaw & Co. will pay $10 million to settle a Securities and Exchange Commission probe that alleged the hedge fund’s agreements with employees could have made it harder for them to blow the whistle.

The Wall Street regulator claimed in its order that the New York-based quant giant made new hires sign employment agreements that ran afoul of agency rules designed to protect whistleblowers. The pacts placed broad restrictions on disclosing confidential information to outside parties, and didn’t carve out a specific exemption for whistleblowing, as the regulator prefers.

D.E. Shaw also required about 400 departing employees to sign releases saying they had not filed any complaints with any government agency in order to receive payouts after they left, the SEC said.

Under the agency’s rules, companies are explicitly prohibited from obstructing anyone from providing tips to the SEC. Friday’s settlement is one of the biggest fines on record for alleged breaches of the SEC’s whistleblower-protection rules.

The SEC’s enforcement chief Gurbir Grewal said in a Friday statement that the SEC “takes seriously the enforcement of whistleblower protections and those drafting or using these types of agreements should take equally serious their obligations to ensure that they don’t impede whistleblowers from contacting the Commission.”

A spokesman for D.E. Shaw declined to comment. The firm, which manages over $60 billion, didn’t admit to or deny the SEC’s findings.

The fine won’t be paid out of investor funds, according to a D.E. Shaw notice to investors obtained by Bloomberg News.

“We are committed to protecting the ability of current and former employees to communicate directly with regulators,” the firm notice said. The hedge fund has since updated its employment agreements to comply with the SEC rules.

This article was provided by Bloomberg News.