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Category Archives: Whistleblowers

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SEC Announces Third Largest Whistleblower Award

Posted in Compliance and Supervision, SEC Compliance, SEC Enforcement, Whistleblowers

Business Insurance reported late last week that the Securities and Exchange Commission will award $5-6 million to a whistleblower who provided information on securities violations that would have been “nearly impossible” for the SEC to detect on its own.  Such an award would be the third larges award ever granted to a whistleblower by the SEC.… Continue Reading

SEC: Confidentiality Agreements Cannot Impede Whistleblowers

Posted in Whistleblowers

The SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower’s top priority going into 2016 will be to assess company confidentiality agreements for compliance with Rule 21-F-17(a).  Rule 21F-17(a) provides that no person may take any action to impede an individual from reporting information about wrongdoing to the SEC.  The OWB’s primary focus in enforcing Rule 21-F-17(a) has been to discourage companies… Continue Reading

Whistleblower Tips Rise Again in 2015

Posted in Compliance and Supervision, Dodd-Frank, Financial Industry Trends, SEC Compliance, SEC Enforcement, Whistleblowers

The Securities and Exchange Commission released its 2015 Annual Report on its Whistleblower Program this week and announced another rise in the number of whistleblower tips that it received.  The SEC reported receiving 3,923 tips during its 2015 Fiscal Year, which is up from 3,620 in 2014 (as we previously reported), and up over 30% from… Continue Reading

The SEC Cracks Down on Anti-Whistleblower Agreements

Posted in Compliance and Supervision, Financial Industry Trends, SEC Compliance, SEC Enforcement, Whistleblowers

Around this time last year, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of the Whistleblower warned lawyers that they may be disciplined for drafting contracts to incentivize whistleblowers to not bring alleged company wrongdoing to the SEC’s attention.  It appears the SEC is beginning to make good on its threat.  Last week, the SEC resolved its… Continue Reading

Forget Including A Bar Of Whistleblower Tips In Settlement Agreements

Posted in Broker-Dealer Regulation, FINRA Compliance, FINRA Enforcement, Public Customer Arbitrations, Registered Representatives, Whistleblowers

FINRA recently warned that firms could face disciplinary action if they enter into settlement agreements that bar customers or former employees from reporting wrongdoing at the firm.  Although FINRA recognized that confidentiality provisions were acceptable, it noted that they have to be written in such a way to authorize the individual to contact FINRA or… Continue Reading

What To Expect In 2014 From The SEC’s Enforcement Division

Posted in Broker-Dealer Regulation, Hedge and Private Equity Funds, Insider Trading, Internal Investigations, Investment Adviser Regulation, SEC Compliance, SEC Enforcement, SEC Organization, SEC Structure, Whistleblowers

Now that 2014 is here, it is a good idea to understand what the Enforcement Division might focus on this year.  In a recent article that appeared in the BNA, David Marder, a partner with Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi identified fifteen things to expect in the coming year.  The fifteen things he noted to… Continue Reading

You Can Blow the Whistle too According to the SEC

Posted in Dodd-Frank, SEC Enforcement, Whistleblowers

The SEC’s Division of Enforcement is performing well according to its departing director. The soon to be ex-Enforcement Director credits this strength to his re-organization of the Division based on expertise and the tips received from whistleblowers, among other things.  The Dodd-Frank Act was the impetus for the SEC’s whistleblower program, and the SEC received over 3,000… Continue Reading

Whistleling While You Work Seems to Be Helping the SEC

Posted in SEC Enforcement, Whistleblowers

The SEC’s Whistleblower Office received 3,001 tips last year, involving a number of different areas and from all over the United States and the world.  The SEC views the program as a valuable tool, and believes the “bounty program”– the payment for these tips– has enhanced the disclosure and its usefulness.  This year even saw the… Continue Reading

The SEC is Watching You … Informant Retaliation Seems to Be on the Rise

Posted in Dodd-Frank, SEC Enforcement, Whistleblowers

The SEC is strongly reviewing if corporations are ensuring that informants are protected. The SEC will not permit a retaliation.  The SEC is seeking to determine if corporations are retailing against individual persons who submit internal complaints.  As one indication, the SEC is reviewing personnel files to ensure that there is no negative reference to these individuals… Continue Reading