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SEC Exams Looking for Whistleblower Violations

SEC staff in the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations are examining compliance with key whistleblower provisions arising out of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The staff is...more

SEC Brings Second Whistleblower Retaliation Case

The SEC has brought its second case for retaliation against a whistleblower against International Game Technology. According to the SEC, the whistleblower, a director of an IGT division, started working at IGT in 2008 and...more

OSHA Addresses Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblower Releases

We have written about SEC enforcement actions related to severance and confidentiality agreements that restrict reporting matters to the SEC. OSHA has also issued guidance regarding settlement agreements with whistleblowers...more

SDNY Awards Front Pay in Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblower Retaliation Case

Perez v. Progenics Pharmaceuticals, Inc., involved a case where Plaintiff Perez drafted a memo to Progenics’ general counsel and his department head, accusing Progenics of committing fraud by publishing a false press release...more

CFTC Proposes to Amend Whistleblower Rules to Provide Anti-Retaliation Enforcement Authority

The CFTC has proposed amendments to its whistleblower rules that reinterpret its anti-retaliation authority and proposes appropriate rule amendments to implement that authority. When the CFTC initially adopted its...more

SEC Awards Culpable Whistleblower $22 Million

The SEC announced the award of more than $22 million to a whistleblower whose detailed tip and extensive assistance helped the agency halt a well-hidden fraud at the company where the whistleblower worked. The $22...more

Proposed Legislation Expands Whistleblower Protections

The Whistleblower Augmented Reward and Nonretaliation Act of 2016, with the confusing alternative title of the WARN Act of 2016, has been introduced before the House of Representatives. The proposed legislation would...more

SEC Says there are (Almost) No Excuses for Late Whistleblowers

The SEC announced a whistleblower award totaling more than $325,000 for a former investment firm employee who tipped the agency with specific information that enabled enforcement staff to open an investigation and uncover the...more

Court Says There is no Private Cause of Action to Create an SEC Whistleblower Award

AgFeed Industries, Inc.’s accounting irregularities culminated in a March 2014 enforcement action brought against AgFeed by the SEC. The enforcement action yielded an $18 million disgorgement penalty, referred to as the...more

2nd Circuit Says Whistleblowers Don’t Have to Report to the SEC

In Berman v. NEO@OGILVY LLC, the Second Circuit held that a whistleblower does not have to report to the SEC to be afforded the anti-retaliation protections of the Dodd-Frank Act. The court discussed that legislative history...more

SEC Bolsters Whistleblower Anti-Retaliation Rules Through Interpretive Guidance

There has been a debate about whether a whistleblower must report information about a violation of securities laws to the SEC, as opposed to internal reporting, to qualify for protection under the anti-retaliation provisions...more

One Tardy Whistleblower Wins SEC Award, One Loses

The SEC announced a whistleblower award of more than $3 million to a company insider whose information helped the SEC crack a complex fraud. The multi-million dollar payout is the third highest award to date under the SEC’s...more

SEC Makes Whistleblower Award in Connection With Retaliation Case

The SEC announced a maximum whistleblower award payment of 30 percent of amounts collected in connection with In the Matter of Paradigm Capital Management, Inc. and Candace King Weir, File No. 3-15930 (June 16, 2014), the...more

SEC Finds Confidentiality Agreements Violates Whistleblower Rules

The SEC announced its first enforcement action against a company for using improperly restrictive language in confidentiality agreements with the potential to stifle the whistleblowing process....more

2nd Circuit Upholds SEC’s Denial of Whistleblower Award

Larry Stryker petitioned the Second Circuit for review of an order of the SEC that denied his claim for a whistleblower award. He sought the award under Section 21F of the Dodd-Frank Act based on information he supplied to...more

Three Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Anti-Retaliation Claims Fail

Courts recently issued three opinions on the whistleblower anti-retaliation provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act. In Murray v. UBS Securities, LLC, Mr. Murray claimed he was terminated because he refused to skew his...more

Revealing Whistleblower’s Identity is Retaliation

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held that revealing a whistleblower’s identity is prohibited retaliation under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in Halliburton, Inc. v. Administrative Review Board, United States...more

FINRA Reminds Anti-Whistleblower Provisions Are Not Permitted in Settlement Agreements

FINRA has published a regulatory notice where it reminds firms that it is a violation of FINRA Rule 2010 (Standards of Commercial Honor and Principles of Trade) to include confidentiality provisions in settlement agreements...more

Yes, Foreigners Can be Whistleblowers

The SEC announced that its largest ever whistleblower award estimated to be worth more than $30 million will be paid to a resident of a foreign country. While the eligibility of foreign residents for a whistleblower award...more

SEC Fights Off Phony Whistleblower Submissions

As might have been expected, some will go to great lengths to claim they are entitled to a whistleblower reward based on suspect evidence. An example is this Commission order denying a whistleblower award to one person,...more

SEC Waives Rule and Reverses Course to Grant Whistleblower Windfall

In August 2013 the SEC whistleblower claims review staff issued a preliminary determination and recommended a whistleblower claim be denied. Although the record demonstrated that the claimant provided original information to...more

SEC: Don’t Ignore the Habitually Wrong Whistleblower

SEC Chair Mary Jo White recently gave a speech on a number of important matters, including the role of directors as gatekeepers, her views of self-reporting of violations and the SEC’s whistleblower program. In the speech...more

Don’t Ask a Whistleblower to Investigate the Conduct Reported to the SEC

The SEC recently charged a hedge fund advisory firm, which we refer to as the employer, for the first time using its new authority to bring anti-retaliation enforcement actions. The head trader for the employer reported to...more

CFTC To Make First Whistleblower Award For $240,000 — But Why?

The CFTC has a whistleblower award program that is separate from, but somewhat similar to, the SEC’s whistleblower award program. Both are mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act. The CFTC has announced that the agency will...more

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