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SEC Enforcement Actions

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is the United States agency with primary responsibility for enforcing federal securities laws. Whistleblowers with knowledge of violations of the federal securities laws can submit a claim to the SEC under the SEC Whistleblower Reward Program, and may be eligible to receive  monetary rewards and protection against retaliation by employers.

Below are summaries of recent SEC settlements or successful prosecutions. If you believe you have information about fraud which could give  rise to an SEC enforcement action and claim under the SEC Whistleblower Reward Program, please contact us to speak with one of our experienced whistleblower attorneys.

September 28, 2020

Fiat Chrysler N.V. will pay an SEC penalty of $9.5 million to settle charges that it made misleading disclosures.  Specifically, in February 2016, the company publicly stated that it had conducted an internal audit to confirm that its vehicles complied with emissions standards.  This statement misleadingly failed to disclose the limited nature of the internal audit and other related material facts, including about the existence of ongoing government investigations into the company’s diesel vehicle emissions systems.  SEC

September 25, 2020

The SEC has made two awards totaling over $2.5 million to whistleblowers who provided information regarding overseas misconduct.  Both whistleblowers reported the misconduct to internal compliance systems before reporting to the SEC.  In the case of the first whistleblower, who received over $1.8 million, the internal report resulted in an internal investigation and subsequent report to the SEC.  Meanwhile, information from the second whistleblower, who received $750,000, resulted in a successful enforcement action.  SEC

September 15, 2020

Online gaming and gambling platform Unikm, Inc. agreed to pay a $6.1 million penalty to resolve allegations that the company unlawfully sold unregistered securities in its initial coin offering of “UnikoinGold” (UKG) tokens.  The recovered funds will be used to repay injured investors.  SEC

September 1, 2020

The SEC made a $2.5 million whistleblower award to two outsiders who submitted a whistleblower tip based on their detailed independent analysis of a company's public filings.  The whistleblowers provided helpful assistance during the investigation, and their submission ultimately led to several successful enforcement actions.  The SEC did not disclose their identity or the target of the underlying enforcement actions.  SEC

August 28, 2020

Herbalife Nutrition Ltd. will pay over $123 million to resolve claims that the US-based company violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by paying bribes to Chinese officials and other state-owned entities in order to secure required direct selling licenses, improperly influence Chinese investigations into Herbalife's business, and improperly influence Chinese state-owned and state-controlled media for the purpose of removing negative media reports about Herbalife. Herbalife admitted that over the course of ten years it falsified its books and records in order to provide corrupt payments and benefits to Chinese government officials.  To resolve criminal charges, Herbalife will enter into a deferred prosecution agreement and pay a $55 million criminal penalty; to resolve civil charges by the SEC, Herbalife will pay disgorgement and interest totaling approximately $67 million.  DOJ; USAO SDNY; SEC
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