News & Analysis as of

A Look Back at SEC Whistleblowers in 2014

In retrospect, 2014 has to be considered a success for the whistleblower program run by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). This year, whistleblowers who earned awards through the SEC earned more money...more

FCPA Compliance and Ethics Report-Episode 122-with Matt Kelly on Alstom, Avon and Petrobras [Video]

In this episode, Compliance Week Editor-in-Chief Matt Kelly and I discuss the Avon and Alstom FCPA enforcement actions and then take a look at the ongoing Petrobras corruption scandal and what it means for Brazil. ...more

2014 Top 10 SEC Enforcement Highlights

Mary Jo White was confirmed in April 2013 as Chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), becoming the first former United States Attorney to serve in that role. Given her background, and despite criticism...more

2015 Trends: #5 Regulatory Enforcement Moves Down Market

While ethics and compliance scandals that implicate brand name companies tend to grab the headlines, smaller organizations have always borne the brunt of regulatory enforcement. Over the years, U.S. Sentencing Commission data...more

A Review of Recent Whistleblower Developments

SEC Whistleblower Office 2014 Annual Report Details Rising Number of Tips and Increasing Awards - On November 17, 2014, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Whistleblower Office issued its Fiscal Year 2014...more

FCPA Compliance and Ethics Report-Episode 117-the Avon FCPA Enforcement Action [Video]

In this episode I take a deep dive into the recent concluded Avon FCPA enforcement action. ...more

New York Times: Bounty Programs Incentivize Wrongdoers to Collect

We have seen a number of substantial whistleblower awards make headlines this year, but a recent article on nytimes.com discusses the potential downsides of government-sponsored bounty programs: rewarding whistleblowers by...more

The Avon FCPA Settlement, Part II

I am back from my holiday break and am looking forward to many good ideas for blogs in the coming year. However before we get to 2015, I have to finish out some matters from 2014. Today I continue my look at the Avon Foreign...more

Overview of Compliance Concerns Raised by Recent U.S. SEC Whistleblower Developments

The recent release of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) annual report to Congress on the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program highlights the growing reliance of U.S. Government authorities on whistleblowers to...more

SDNY Follows Asadi: Internal Tipsters Not Dodd-Frank “Whistleblowers”

On December 5, 2014, the Southern District of New York in Berman v. Neo@Ogilvy, No. 14-cv-523, ruled that an employee who complains internally about securities law violations does not qualify as a “whistleblower” under the...more

New York Times Discusses the Growth of Whistleblower Programs

As federal agencies dole out record-breaking awards to tipsters (such as the SEC’s recent $30 million award), whistleblower programs remain a topic of public interest. Earlier this month, The New York Times published an...more

SEC’s Second Amicus Brief On Whether Dodd-Frank Protects Internal Reports

On December 11, 2014, the SEC filed an amicus brief in support of Plaintiff-Appellant Mikael Safarian asking the Third Circuit to revive his Dodd-Frank whistleblower claim and endorse the agency’s definition of...more

The Avon FCPA Settlement, Part I

It is finally done. The long awaited Avon Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) enforcement action is on the books. I would say what a long, strange trip it has been but that does not really seem to capture everything that...more

Whistleblowers Gone Global – International Implications of the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Programmes

Organisations in the U.K. breathed a collective sigh of relief this summer when the commission formed by the Bank of England and the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) recommended against the implementation of U.S.-style...more

SEC Seeks To “Overrule” Fifth Circuit Whistleblower Interpretation

In Asadi v. G.E. Energy United States, L.L.C., 720 F.3d 620 (5th Cir. 2013), the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals held that an employee who reported a suspected Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violation internally but not to the...more

SEC Reports FY 2014 as a Historic Year for Whistleblower Program

According to the annual report issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), fiscal year 2014 was a "historic" one for the whistleblower program initiated pursuant to the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law. In...more

2014 SEC and FINRA Enforcement Actions Against Broker-Dealers and Investment Advisers

The sheer number of enforcement actions brought against broker-dealers and investment advisers makes it challenging to keep up. In this alert, we divide this year’s most important cases against broker-dealers and investment...more

SEC Will Pay Largest Whistleblower Award Yet

The SEC’s whistleblower office has been in place since 2011, and in that time has handed out nine monetary awards to whistleblowers. It is about to hand out its largest award yet: a minimum $30 million reward to an...more

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

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