News & Analysis as of

Senator Grassley Announces the Creation of a Congressional Whistleblower Caucus

Last week, we provided an update on Senator Chuck Grassley’s (R-IA) efforts to strengthen the IRS Whistleblower Program and expedite the processing of IRS Whistleblower claims. Now, Senator Grassley – a longtime advocate for...more

OIG Report Praises SEC Whistleblower Program

The internal watchdog for federal government agencies, including the SEC, is the Office of the Inspector General (“OIG”), which conducts audits and investigations of the SEC to “promote integrity, economy, efficiency, and...more

The SEC’s Whistleblower Program: 2013 Results and What to Expect in 2014

The SEC’s 2013 Whistleblower Report to Congress reported an 8% increase in tips and whistleblower awards over the previous year, as well as the program’s largest single award to date. In recent public statements,...more

Ethics and Compliance WIND - April 2014

Ethics and Compliance WIND is your Weekly Industry News Digest for all things compliance. We bring you the latest industry news, so you spend more time staying up-to-date and less time searching....more

SEC Announces Additional Payout to Whistleblower

The SEC announced on Friday that it made an additional payout of $150,000 to the recipient of the first monetary award under the SEC Whistleblower Program, after successfully collecting more sanctions from one of the...more

Quarterly Whistleblower Award Update

The SEC recently announced that it has denied whistleblower claims in connection with three different matters and awarded an additional $150,000 to the inaugural recipient of an award under the SEC’s whistleblower...more

First-Ever SEC Bounty Winner Receives Additional Payout

The SEC Office of the Whistleblower recently announced that the first-ever whistleblower award under the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program will be increased by $150,000 based on additional assets the SEC collected from one the...more

Was Richard Bowen’s Whistle Stuffed?

Five years have passed since Lehman Brothers' bankruptcy. Richard M. Bowen III, a former Citigroup executive who blew the whistle on their bad business practices, provided 1000 pages of documents to the Securities and...more

SEC Officials Provide Promising Reports on the SEC Whistleblower Program

One of the questions I’m most frequently asked by clients, other lawyers and friends is “what’s happening inside the SEC with respect to the whistleblower program?” Recently, several top SEC officials have provided insight...more

Business News Digest – April 2014

In this issue: - Cybersecurity Assessments – Using the Tool Well - A SOX in the Gut: Supreme Court Vastly Expands Workplace "Whistleblower" Law - SEC to Scrutinize Never-Examined Investment...more

SEC Whistleblower Program Gets Blowing

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced August 20, 2013 that it awarded more than $25,000 in total to three whistleblowers. The SEC reports that this payment was the first installment in a series that is...more

High-Frequency Trading: Whistleblower Aids SEC And FBI Investigations

The buzz on Wall Street this week has been all about high-frequency trading and Michael Lewis’ new book on the topic, Flash Boys. As Lewis explains, high-frequency trading typically works by exploiting a powerful combination...more

Arbitration Agreements and Whistleblower Protections

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 directed the SEC to establish a “bounty program” for certain individuals who voluntarily provide the SEC with original information that leads to successful...more

White Collar Watch - March 2014

In This Issue: - SEC at odds with Siemens over whether whistleblower protections extend to employees who report wrongdoing directly to their companies - Fourth Circuit decision tolling False Claims Act statute...more

Madoff Verdicts Show the Risks of Staying Silent

After the revelation in 2008 that Bernard Madoff’s “wealth management” business was actually a colossal Ponzi scheme, Madoff’s victims and the public immediately asked: “Who else in the Madoff organization knew and, if they...more

SEC’s Amicus Brief: Internal Whistleblower Reports Covered By Dodd-Frank Anti-Retaliation Provision

As we previously discussed, courts have struggled with determining the scope of the protections in Dodd-Frank’s anti-retaliation provisions. On the one hand, Dodd-Frank defines a “whistleblower” as any individual, or group of...more

The Securities and Exchange Commission Whistleblower Program Breaks Out with a $14 Million Award

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced a $14 million award to a whistleblower whose tip led to an enforcement action. The whistleblower, who remains anonymous, gave original information to the SEC that enabled...more

SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower Warns Companies and Inside Counsel Against Using Employment Incentives to Deter External...

During a recent panel discussion at the Georgetown University Law Center’s 18th Annual Corporate Counsel Institute, the head of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of the Whistleblower, Sean McKessy, warned...more

SEC Enforcement Trends: Focus on the FCPA

This is the first in an ongoing series of posts focusing on current trends in SEC enforcement actions, and how those trends impact current and potential whistleblowers. We’ve chosen to highlight actions brought under the...more

SEC Scrutinizing Contractual Impediments to Whistleblower Complaints

Sean McKessy (“McKessy”), the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (“SEC”) whistleblower chief, cautioned in-house attorneys who draft contracts incentivizing employees to report securities fraud complaints in-house rather...more

The SEC’s New Policy on Admissions: What Does It Mean for Whistleblowers?

When SEC Chair Mary Jo White took the reins of the agency last year, one of her first and most highly publicized initiatives was to re-examine the SEC’s policy on “no-admit, no-deny” settlements, meaning settlements in which...more

New Reports Suggest the SEC is Cracking Down on Confidentiality Agreements

In our practice as counsel for SEC whistleblowers, one of the troubling practices we frequently see on the part of companies is the use of confidentiality agreements that purport to prevent employees or former employees from...more

In Case You Missed It - Interesting Items for Corporate Counsel (Cumulative) - March 13, 2014

The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled in Lawson v. FMR LLC that the whistleblower provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act protect employees who work for contractors and subcontractors of public companies and not just employees...more

Private Company Employees Who Blow the Whistle on Public Company Fraud Are Protected from Retaliation

When it passed the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (“SOX”), Congress established protections against retaliation for “employees” who report fraud at public companies. Since then, however, courts and commentators have disagreed...more

Where the Whistle Blows: SEC Invites Circuit Split Over Reach of Dodd-Frank Anti-Retaliation Provision

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently weighed in on a whistleblower case pending in the Second Circuit, urging the court in Liu v. Siemens, A.G. to adopt the SEC’s interpretation of the Dodd-Frank Act’s...more

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