A Billion in the Bank and Still No End In Sight For SEC’s Warm Embrace of Whistleblowers
It has been only two weeks since the SEC passed the billion dollar mark in whistleblower awards under the agency's Whistleblower Program. By all accounts, there will be no end to the cavalcade of awards that brought us to this landmark event.
Starting with the whistleblower payout that brought the total awards tally past the 10-figure threshold. It was a blockbuster $110 million award, the second largest to...
The Evergrande Crisis Shows the Need for Greater Regulatory Oversight of the OTC Markets
The potential imminent collapse of China’s largest property builder, Evergrande, is shining a light on just how expensive homes in China’s big cities have become—and how much of a risk of a bubble there is, with potentially catastrophic effects on the global markets. A potential collapse would not just affect Chinese investors, although they may bear the brunt. Evergrande is traded over-the-counter in the...
SEC Awards $114 Million to Two Whistleblowers, Including an Apparent Outsider, Passing the $1 Billion Mark with a Bang
The SEC announced $114 million in whistleblower awards to two unnamed individuals whose information substantially contributed to an SEC enforcement action and two related actions by other enforcement agencies. With this award, the SEC can say it has issued more than $1 billion in awards to whistleblowers – truly, a milestone worth celebrating.
As is typical with SEC press releases about whistleblower awards,...
SEC Whistleblower Program Summer Roundup - Nearing the Billion Dollar Mark
For the SEC Whistleblower Program, it was business as usual this summer. With total awards of more than $50 million to 25 whistleblowers, the agency moved ever closer to the billion dollar mark. Here is how it played out for the SEC program over the not so lazy days of summer:
SEC Chairman Views Cryptocurrency Markets as the “Wild West” and Calls for More Investor Protection
During a recent speech discussing the intersection of national security with cryptocurrencies at the Aspen Security Forum, Gary Gensler, the new Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), made clear the SEC will use its broad powers to continue protecting investors from the volatility associated with cryptocurrency markets which he characterized as the “Wild West.” He also urged Congress to grant...
Federal Court Confirms That Outsiders Can Be SEC Whistleblower Too
What does it mean to be a “whistleblower”? Often, people think of corporate or government employees with access to secret information that’s not visible from the outside. A classic example is Daniel Ellsberg. Working as a military analyst for the RAND Corporation, Ellsberg accessed and leaked an explosive Top Secret study of U.S. activities in the Vietnam War.
But the U.S. whistleblower award programs...
SEC Cracks Down Again on Companies Chilling Whistleblowers from Reporting Wrongdoing
A company’s restrictive compliance manual and training materials ran afoul of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)’s Rule 21F-17(a), prohibiting actions restricting, impeding, or discouraging whistleblowers from directly reporting wrongdoing to the Commission. In its settlement against New York broker-dealer Guggenheim Securities, LLC (Guggenheim), the SEC not only censured Guggenheim but also hit it...
It has been less than two months since SEC Whistleblower Chief Jane Norberg left the agency for private practice. As we previously wrote, her five years running the agency's Whistleblower Program were groundbreaking in the number and amount of awards the SEC made and in the agency's efforts to champion the critical role whistleblowers play within the SEC enforcement regime.
As we also wrote at the time, the SEC...
Catch of the Week: SEC Cracks Down Again on Cybersecurity Disclosures
This week’s Catch of the Week goes to the Securities and Exchange Commission for its latest settlement involving cybersecurity risks. The SEC charged First American Financial Corporation, an insurance company listed on the New York Stock Exchange, with failing to adequately control for cybersecurity risks. According to the SEC’s Order, a journalist alerted First American that it had a major vulnerability in...
Whistleblowers Without Borders: International Whistleblowers are Increasingly Important Contributors of Tips to the SEC Whistleblower Reward Program
On March 4, 2021, the SEC announced an award of over $5 million to joint foreign whistleblowers whose tip, providing significant information about misconduct abroad, caused the opening of an investigation that resulted in a successful SEC enforcement action.
According to Jane Norberg, former Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower, “The whistleblowers’ information alerted the staff to misconduct...