News & Analysis as of

SEC Reports Amount of Whistleblower Tips, Awards Rose in 2014

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently released its annual report on its new whistleblower program, and according to that report, whistleblower tips and awards through the agency are on the rise. This year...more

SEC Releases 2014 Annual Report to Congress on the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program

By all accounts, 2014 was a year of tremendous success for the SEC’s Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program. According to its 2014 Annual Report to Congress on the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program, the SEC paid nine whistleblower...more

SEC’s 2014 Report on Dodd-Frank Whistleblowing Program: Key Takeaways and Trends Companies Should Expect for 2015

On November 17, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission issued its 2014 Annual Report to Congress on the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program and it is clear that the program is going strong. Following are six key takeaways...more

DOJ Criminal Division Renews Efforts to Investigate Whistleblower Allegations

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has signaled a heightened effort to bring criminal prosecutors into the loop regarding False Claims Act referrals and other whistleblower complaints. In recent remarks at a conference comprised...more

SEC Describes Profiles of Successful Whistleblowers

In its 2014 Report to Congress on the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program, the SEC described the profile of successful whistleblowers. Because the SEC must keep the identity of whistleblowers confidential, it can only describe...more

FINRA Issues Guidance Notice on Confidentiality Provisions in Settlement Agreements and the Arbitration Discovery Process

In Regulatory Notice 14-40, FINRA reminds members that it is a violation of FINRA Rule 2010 (Standards of Commercial Honor and Principles of Trade) to incorporate into a settlement agreement a confidentiality provision...more

Court Follows 5th Circuit Asadi Decision, Dismisses Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Claim

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin in Verfuerth v. Orion Energy Systems, Inc., No. 14-cv-352 (E.D. Wis. Nov. 4, 2014) recently ruled that the Dodd-Frank whistleblower protection provision does not...more

SEC Whistleblower Office Reaches Three-Year Anniversary

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of the Whistleblower has only been open since August 2011, yet it has already made a pretty big name for itself in protecting the rights of whistleblowers and...more

Study: Does The Existence Of Whistleblowers In Enforcement Actions Mean Greater Penalties?

According to an academic study published on October 6, 2014 by Andrew C. Hall, Gerald S. Martin, Nathan Y. Sharp, and Jaron H. Wilde, the presence of whistleblowers may have a meaningful impact on the outcomes of enforcement...more

California Court Allows Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Claims to Proceed Despite Absence of Complaint to SEC

In a case of first impression within the Ninth Circuit, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California ruled that the whistleblower protection provision in Dodd-Frank protects whistleblowers who report...more

A Royal Fan Responds: Russ Berland on the SEC Financial Report for FY 2014

Ed. Note-today we have a guest post from KC Royals fan and Stinson Leonard Street partner Russ Berland. As a Kansas City Royals fan, I would like to use this opportunity to congratulate the Royals on a great season...more

When the Whistle Blows, What Follows?

Real estate investment trust American Realty Capital Properties (“ARCP”) recently announced the preliminary findings of an Audit Committee investigation into accounting irregularities and the resulting resignation of its...more

The High Cost of Whistleblowing

In a number of recent posts, we have highlighted the SEC’s whistleblower program, which offers awards of 10%-30% of the money collected where a whistleblower provides high-quality, original information that results in an SEC...more

Record $30 Million Whistleblower Payout Goes Offshore

U.S. securities regulators recently announced a record-breaking $30 million payout to an anonymous whistleblower living abroad, an amount more than double the previous record of $14 million awarded in 2011. This marks the...more

Blog: Study Shows Whistleblower Complaints Lead To Increased Penalties And Likelihood Of Enforcement

An academic study, first reported by the WSJ, concludes that, in regulatory enforcement actions brought by the SEC and DOJ alleging financial misrepresentation, employee whistleblowers have a consequential impact on...more

FINRA Issues Guidance Notice To Warn Against Settlements Barring Whistleblower Tips

This month, FINRA issued guidance notice 14-40 to 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

Blog: Director Of SEC Whistleblower Office To Staff: I Want To Pump You Up* To Find Whistleblower Retaliation Cases

According to Law360, the director of the SEC’s whistleblower office, Sean McKessy, is exhorting the staff of that office to set a high priority on cases involving employer retaliation for whistleblower complaints. During an...more

FINRA Again Cautions Against Confidentiality Provisions Silencing Whistleblowers

As reported this week by Law360 (subscription required), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) recently issued a reminder (Regulatory Notice 14-40) warning firms against the use of confidentiality provisions in...more

All Whistleblowers, listen up! Seven figure chump change or eight-figure bonanza, what will it be?

All Whistleblowers, listen up! Seven figure chump change or eight-figure bonanza, what will it be? Several events happened in the last few months to inspire conversation about whistleblowers. First, on July 30, 2014,...more

What Happens When Your Whistleblower Hotline Program Fails and 3 Elements To Help Detect Incidents Internally

On September 16th, I, along with 1,300 compliance professionals, sat in the Grand Ballroom at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago for SCCE’s 13th Annual CEI 2nd general session. Specifically, we had gathered to hear U.S. Department...more

A Review of Recent Whistleblower Developments

On July 31, 2014, the SEC awarded $400,000 to a whistleblower who had reported internally before providing information to the SEC. The award was unique because the SEC’s Claims Review Staff had denied the whistleblower’s...more

SEC Whistleblower Program Achieves Critical Mass with $30 Million Payout and Award to Compliance/Internal Audit Professional

Two recent Dodd-Frank whistleblower awards suggest that the program is becoming the kind of “game changer” for law enforcement that many had predicted. The program, which took effect in August 2011, mandates the payment of...more

With record-breaking Dodd-Frank award, SEC invites the world to blow the whistle

The SEC has announced its largest-ever Dodd-Frank whistleblower award: between $30 and $35 million. While the amount of the award is eye-popping on its own, the Commission’s order awarding the whistleblower’s claim – the...more

A Whistleblower First

For the first time the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) made an award ($300,000) to a whistleblower performing a compliance and audit function within a public company after the company failed to take action on the...more

SEC gives first whistleblower award to audit and compliance employee

The Securities and Exchange Commission has underscored the importance of a timely response to internal reports of wrongdoing by awarding $300,000 to a whistleblower who was an audit and compliance employee....more

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