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Whistleblower Reveals Facebook’s Lies: Will the SEC or Congress Act to Curtail Threats to Democracy and Teens from Social Media?

Posted  10/1/21
Modern mobile devices
For anyone who cares about the future of liberal democracy, improving the mental health and well-being of children, ending the COVID-19 pandemic, or stopping drug cartels and human trafficking, the recent series in The Wall Street Journal titled “The Facebook Files” is a must-read.  Based on a trove of internal documents shared by a Facebook whistleblower, as well as interviews with numerous current and former...

A Billion in the Bank and Still No End In Sight For SEC’s Warm Embrace of Whistleblowers

Posted  10/1/21
Securities and Exchange Commission building with logo zoomed in
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

Posted  09/23/21
market trading graph with large dip
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

Posted  09/16/21
Boom comics
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

Posted  09/9/21
SEC-building
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:
  • June 2 – $23 million (2 whistleblowers)
  • June 14 – $3 million (2 whistleblowers)
  • June 21 – $5.3 million (4...

What the SEC can learn from its German peer BaFin

Posted  08/13/21
Building of Wirecard in Germany
The Federal Financial Supervisory Authority, otherwise known as BaFin, is Germany’s version of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), a supervisory body working to ensure the functioning, stability and integrity of the German financial system. BaFin was created following a 2002 merger between Germany’s Federal Banking Supervisory Office (BAKred), the Federal Securities Supervisory Office (BAWe), and...

SEC Chairman Views Cryptocurrency Markets as the “Wild West” and Calls for More Investor Protection

Posted  08/13/21
Cryptocurrency and US Hundred Dollar Bills Scattered Around
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

Posted  07/30/21
SEC-building
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...

In Defense of Whistleblowers: Poppy Alexander Appears on Law & Disorder Podcast

Posted  07/13/21
Constantine Cannon whistleblower attorney Poppy Alexander was interviewed as a featured guest on the Law & Disorder podcast.  In an interview with Heidi Boghosian, Poppy discussed the False Claims Act, including its rewards and protections for whistleblowers.  The FCA allows private persons, known as relators, to bring what are called qui tam lawsuits on the government’s behalf, and claim a share of any recovery...

SEC Cracks Down Again on Companies Chilling Whistleblowers from Reporting Wrongdoing

Posted  07/2/21
red tape over person mouth
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...
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