SEC Whistleblower Blog

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...

SEC Awards $4 Million to Whistleblower

September 21, 2016
The Securities and Exchange Commission announced on September 20, 2016, that it would award just over $4 million to a whistleblower. Committed to protecting whistleblowers' confidentiality, the Commission did not disclose the individual's identity or the involved organization. However, the SEC acknowledged that the...

Does Dodd-Frank Protect Internal Whistleblowers?

September 20, 2016
There is a well-entrenched circuit split on whether whistleblowers who report potential securities law violations to their employers but not to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) are protected from retaliation under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (Dodd-Frank). What is unambiguous...

SEC Cracks Down on Employer "Pretaliation"

September 15, 2016
If you have an employment contract that includes a clause that impedes your ability to report potential securities violations to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), you could have a “pretaliation” claim in which the SEC may be interested.   What is Pretaliation? “Pretaliation” is a relatively new term that the...

SEC Awards $22.5 Million to Monsanto Whistleblower

September 2, 2016
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced a $22.5 million award to a whistleblower for providing information about a “well-hidden” fraud in the accounting and reporting by a publicly traded company.  Although the SEC did not divulge the name of the company or the facts of the underlying enforcement action, the...

SEC Denies Whistleblower Awards for Three Claimants

September 1, 2016
On July 19 of this year, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) denied the appeals of three claimants who applied for whistleblower awards related to a recent enforcement action. The SEC whistleblower awards program provides awards to individuals who can show that they voluntarily provided original information that led to...

SEC Cracks Down on Company Policies that Prevent Employees from Reporting Fraud

August 25, 2016
In recent whistleblower blogs, we wrote about the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) efforts to enforce an important rule preventing employers from using employment agreements to curtail employee disclosures of securities fraud and other wrongdoing. In just the last few weeks, the SEC has stepped up its efforts along...

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