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SEC Makes Whistleblower Award to Company Outsider

Posted  11/19/20
Securities and Exchange Commission building with logo zoomed in
The Securities and Exchange Commission continues to demonstrate its strong commitment to the agency's whistleblower program.  This past year was a record-breaking year by every measure, not the least of which was the roughly $175 million in awards the SEC doled out to 39 whistleblowers.  And just three weeks ago, the SEC made its largest award ever of $114 million, shattering the previous record $50 million award...

In an Effort to Curb Corruption, U.S. and Brazil Update Trade Agreement by Strengthening Whistleblower Protections

Posted  11/5/20
U.S. and Brazil flags flying together
On October 19, 2020, the U.S. and Brazil signed a Protocol on trade rules and transparency, updating their 2011 Agreement on Trade and Economic Cooperation (ATEC). The Protocol includes three annexes – one of which comprises cutting-edge provisions that are at the very forefront of recent developments in the area of whistleblower protection. Article 3 of Annex III provides specific obligations in line with both...

SEC Makes Record Whistleblower Award of $114 Million

Posted  10/29/20
SEC-building
Following on the heels of a record-breaking year for SEC whistleblower awards, the SEC broke new ground yet again with its blockbuster award last week of $114 million.  It far exceeds the next highest award of $50 million the SEC made in June.  And it brings to $676 million to 108 whistleblowers the total tally to date of awards under the SEC Whistleblower Program. Other than its size, another notable feature...

A company about nothing: SPACs and fraud

Posted  10/27/20
Tablet showing trending stock
The hot retro design trend these days is not only slip dresses and tie-dye, but an once-obscure investment vehicle called a Special Purpose Acquisition Company or SPAC.  SPACs (aka “blank check” companies) are sweeping the nation as the darling of investors who wish to take a company public without the scrutiny of an IPO.

So what is a SPAC?

With due apologies to Seinfield, SPACs are companies about nothing. ...

SEC Has Record Year of Whistleblower Rewards

Posted  10/9/20
Securities and Exchange Commission logo with a stack of coins and cash on top
The SEC closed out its fiscal year (September 30) with an avalanche of whistleblower awards, doling out 15 awards for a total of more than $50 million in September alone.  Six of those awards were made on September 30, clearly highlighting the SEC's desire to trumpet the success of its whistleblower program for this record-breaking year. The SEC also seems to be standing strong in its continued messaging to...

With over $136 million in Whistleblower Awards in 2020, the SEC Amends the Rules of its Whistleblower Program

Posted  09/25/20
Securities and Exchange Commission building with logo zoomed in
In a public meeting held earlier this week, the SEC approved - by a 3-2 vote - several changes to its remarkably successful whistleblower program. Most notably, the Commission withdrew a 2018 contentious proposal which would have authorized it to reduce the amount of money in rewards issued in large enforcement actions where at least $100 million were collected. Moreover, all five Commissioners recognized the...

SEC Whistleblower Awards Keep Rolling In

Posted  09/17/20
a silver whistle on top of a stack of cash
Earlier this week, the SEC announced an award of more than $10 million "to a whistleblower whose information and assistance were of crucial importance to a successful SEC enforcement action."  This brings the total tally under the SEC's Whistleblower Program to $520 million in awards to 94 whistleblowers since the first award in 2012. It also marks the latest in a flood of awards this year, including the $50...

SEC Again Postpones Hearing on Controversial Whistleblower Award Rule Amendments

Posted  09/11/20
silver whistle with Securities Exchange Commission logo
For the second time, the SEC pulled the plug on hearings to consider amendments to some key rules affecting its whistleblower reward program.  Just a day before hearings scheduled for September 2, 2020, the SEC canceled them, indicating only that they would be rescheduled for a future date.  The Commission had done the same thing in fall 2019, abandoning hearings at the last minute. There are many potential...

How Whistleblowers Can Report Fraud Related to Clinical Trials

Posted  09/4/20
Microscope
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of government-funded scientific and medical research, including clinical trials of vaccines, treatments, and more.  We are all potentially at risk if there is fraud and abuse in clinical trials and other research. Individuals with knowledge of fraud and misconduct in federal grants and clinical trials may be able to bring a whistleblower action for that research...
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