Whistleblowers Securities & Exchange Commission

News & Analysis as of

A Review of Recent Whistleblower Developments

Second Circuit Splits from Fifth Circuit on Whistleblower SEC Reporting Obligations On September 10, 2015, the Second Circuit in Berman v. Neo@Ogilvy LLC, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 16071 (2d Cir. 2015), ruled that...more

The Chill is Gone: SEC Wants Unfettered Whistleblowers

The SEC continues its efforts to support whistleblowers. The whistleblower program promulgated by the Commission under the Dodd-Frank Act offers rewards to individuals who report securities law violations. As we have...more

Blog: Are Whistleblowers Just Out For The Big Bucks?

Given that, last year, the SEC awarded $30 million to one whistleblower alone, it looks like a pretty good gig. The previous year, the SEC awarded a whistleblower $14 million. That’s not too bad either....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

Internal Whistleblowing Protected Against Retaliation Under Dodd-Frank Says Second Circuit

While the Dodd-Frank Act provides various protections to whistleblowers, federal courts have inconsistently interpreted who precisely qualifies as a whistleblower. In a much-anticipated opinion, the Second Circuit Court of...more

California District Court Follows Asadi, Dismisses Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Claim

On September 8, 2015, the United States District Court for the Central District of California dismissed a whistleblower retaliation claim, ruling that Dodd-Frank’s anti-retaliation provision only protects whistleblowers who...more

Second Circuit Decision May Have Significant Implications for Whistleblowers and Their Employers

On September 10, 2015, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued a decision with significant implications for purported whistleblowers and their employers—Berman v. Neo@Ogilvy LLC, WPP Group USA, Inc., No. 14-4626...more

“You Know How to Whistle Don’t You?”—Whistleblowers Gain Even More Protection

The SEC recently issued guidance specifying that whistleblowers do not first have to take their concerns to the SEC in order to be covered by the SEC’s anti-retaliation rule. The guidance clarifies that those whistleblowers...more

California Judge Sides With Congress and Fifth Circuit In Whistleblower Split

Sean McKessy, Chief, Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of the Whistleblower, Division of Enforcement discussed a recent split between the circuits this webcast broadcast last Thursday by TheCorporateCounsel.net. ...more

2nd Circuit Splits, Holds Reporting to SEC Not Necessary for Dodd-Frank Protection

On September 10, 2015, the 2nd Circuit, in Berman v. Neo@Ogilvy LLC, issued a divided opinion concerning the scope of protections offered by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. In a 2-1 decision,...more

Securities Litigation and Enforcement Newsletter

A CD or not a CD, That is the Question… That the Auditors Should Have Answered - A headline-grabbing SEC enforcement action last week against BDO USA and several of its national partners may lead audit firms to insist on...more

Employment Law - September 2015

From the California Legislature: New Employment Laws, Bills Set for Signature: Why it matters - The California Legislature has been busy with employment-related bills, passing measures to provide additional...more

Second Circuit Allows Whistleblower Retaliation Protection Without Reporting to SEC

September 10, 2015, in a 2-1 decision in Berman v. Neo@Ogilvy LLC, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that whistleblowers who report securities law violations internally but not to the US Securities and...more

Chief of SEC Whistleblower Office Shares Candid Assessment of Program’s Results to Date and Future Direction

On September 9, 2015, Sean McKessy, Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower (OWB) spoke at Thomson Reuters’ 4th Annual Corporate Whistleblower Program in New York. With the standard disclaimer that his comments and...more

August Whistleblower News Digest | News Your CCO Needs to Know

Morgan Stanley is in the news once again for whistleblower retaliation in a new lawsuit that mentions some of the same staff members involved in the last suit against them. Progenics was found guilty of retaliation, NuVasive...more

Second Circuit to Supreme Court on Whistleblowers: Your Turn

The U.S. Court of Appeals to the Second Circuit’s recent decision holding that Dodd-Frank’s “whistleblower” anti-retaliation protections apply to employees who are dismissed after reporting alleged violations internally but...more

Second Circuit: No SEC Reporting Requirement in Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Provisions

In a much-anticipated decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit set up a possible showdown at the U.S. Supreme Court when it decided on September 10 that whistleblowers need not report to the SEC in order to...more

Second Circuit Expands Scope of Dodd-Frank Anti-Retaliation Provisions, Sets up Chance for Supreme Court Review

Once upon a time, Daniel Berman was the finance director of Neo@Ogilvy LLC, a subsidiary of the publicly-traded WPP Group USA, Inc. He did not find a handsome prince or princess there. According to the allegations of a...more

Executives Beware: The DOJ and SEC Have Set Their Sights on Individual Wrongdoing

The DOJ’s Yates Memo makes individual prosecutions a higher priority and makes a company’s own identification of potentially culpable individuals an explicit factor in assessing cooperation credit....more

Second Circuit Splits With Fifth Circuit Setting Up Possible Supreme Court Review: Are Internal Whistleblowers Protected Under...

On September 10, 2015, a divided panel of the Second Circuit issued an opinion in Berman v. Neo@Ogilvy LLC, No. 14-4626 (2nd Cir. Sept. 10, 2015), creating a split with the Fifth Circuit on an issue that has also divided...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

Second Circuit Defers To SEC Interpretation Of “Whistleblower” For Purposes Of Retaliation Suit Under Dodd-Frank

In Berman v. Neo@Ogilvy LLC, a three-judge panel of the Second Circuit reversed and remanded a decision of the SDNY, which had dismissed a claim for retaliation by a former employee on the basis that Dodd-Frank’s...more

Second Circuit Splits With Fifth Circuit Setting Up Possible Supreme Court Review: Are Internal Whistleblowers Protected Under...

On September 10, 2015, a divided panel of the Second Circuit issued an opinion in Berman v. Neo@Ogilvy LLC, No. 14-4626 (2nd Cir. Sept. 10, 2015), creating a split with the Fifth Circuit on an issue that has also divided...more

Second Circuit Rules Internal Whistleblowers Are Protected under Dodd-Frank, Rejecting Asadi

What you need to know: In a divided 2-1 decision, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled today in Berman v. Neo@Ogilvy that employees who complain only internally, rather than complaining to...more

Second Circuit: Dodd-Frank Protects Internal Whistleblowers

On September 10, 2015, the Second Circuit issued its highly anticipated decision in Berman v. Neo@Ogilvy, ruling (in a 2-1 decision) that Dodd-Frank’s whistleblower protection provision applies to internal complaints (i.e.,...more

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