SEC Whistleblower Blog

SEC Waives "In Writing" Requirement in Exceptional Case

February 14, 2017
On January 6, 2017, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) made a highly unusual decision to award more than $5.5 million to a whistleblower who did not follow one of the cardinal rules that information must be provided in writing.  While the particular whistleblower in this case qualified for an award on the basis...

Morgan Stanley Settles SEC Customer Protection Rule Charges for $7.5 Million

January 23, 2017
In December 2016, the SEC announced a $7.5 million settlement with Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC. The SEC found that Morgan Stanley used transactions with an affiliate entity to reduce the amount of money it was required to set aside to safeguard its customers’ cash in violation of the Customer Protection Rule. The Customer...

SEC Penalizes Tech Company for Violating Rule 21F-17

January 18, 2017
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced last month that it was assessing a $180,000 penalty against Virginia-based technology company NeuStar Inc. for requiring its employees to sign severance agreements that violated SEC rule Rule 21F-17, which “prohibits companies from taking any action to impede...

Anheuser-Busch InBev Pays SEC $6M to Settle FCPA Claims

December 14, 2016
In September 2016, the SEC announced a $6 million settlement with multinational brewing company Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev). AB InBev was charged with violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and SEC whistleblower protection provisions. The SEC’s investigation concluded that AB InBev was using third-party sales...

SEC Reports Record $57M in Whistleblower Awards for FY 2016

December 5, 2016
In October 2016, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced its enforcement results for Financial Year 2016, which ended on Sept. 30, 2016. The SEC reported that it brought 868 enforcement actions in 2016, a steady increase from 2014 (755 actions) and 2015 (807 actions). The agency also distributed a record $57...

Can Cybersecurity Whistleblowers Receive Monetary Awards from the SEC?

November 29, 2016
The viability of a cybersecurity whistleblowing tip under the SEC Whistleblower Reward Program is no longer a question. In June 2016, the SEC announced a $1 million penalty levied against Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC for cybersecurity violations that, when coupled with a related criminal action, totaled $1.6 million. We may...

SEC Awards Whistleblower $20 Million

November 15, 2016
Earlier this week, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced that it would award $20 million to an anonymous whistleblower who "promptly came forward with valuable information that enabled the SEC to move quickly and initiate an enforcement action against wrongdoers before they could squander the money." In 2016...

What Motivates a Whistleblower?

November 1, 2016
Whistleblower rewards programs are often touted by government officials as an important tool in encouraging employees to bring unlawful activity that they observe at work to light. Large awards, occasionally reaching the multimillion dollar mark, are thought to act as incentives for individuals to come forward who might...

SEC Award Totals May Increase Significantly in 2017

October 27, 2016
Although 2016 was a big payout year for whistleblowers who provided information to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (“SEC”) Whistleblower Program, 2017 is projected to be even bigger. The SEC Whistleblower Program rewards individuals who voluntarily provide information that helps the SEC identify securities...

Whistleblowers are Getting Much-Needed Help from the CFTC

October 13, 2016
As part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, Congress mandated that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) establish a whistleblower program to reward people who come forward with information on violations of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA). The CFTC enforces the CEA, regulating...

Pages