Have a Claim?

Click here for a confidential contact or call:


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.

April 20, 2022

Waste management company Stericycle Inc. agreed to pay a total of $84 million and enter into a deferred prosecution agreement admitting to the payment of millions of dollars in bribes to government officials in Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina in order to obtain and retain business and to secure improper advantages in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.  The company’s foreign subsidiaries maintained false records to conceal the bribes, which were typically paid in cash and recorded on spreadsheets using code words and euphemisms, including describing the payments made in Argentina as “alfajores.”  Stericycle’s total payment consists of a $28 million payment to resolve an investigation by the SEC, a $52.5 million criminal penalty, and $9.3 million to resolve investigations by the Controladoria-Geral da União (CGU) and the Advocacia-Geral de União (Attorney General’s Office) in Brazil, part of which will be credited to reduce the criminal penalty.  DOJ; SEC

April 15, 2022

Damon Elliott, and his entity Piptastic Limited will pay almost $6.5 million in disgorgement and interest, and a civil penalty of nearly $100,000 for his promotion of a Ponzi scheme in violation of the antifraud provisions of the Securities Act and the Securities Exchange Act. Elliott, through Piptastic, misused investor assets, lied about the status of their investments, provided fabricated account statements, and lied about investors’ funds being safely held in trading accounts. In addition to the disgorgement and interest levied against Elliott, Piptastic is enjoined from further violations of the Securities Act and the Securities Exchange Act.  SEC

April 14, 2022

Andrew J. Chapin, former CEO of Benja Inc. will pay $2.8 million to settle  charges that he violated the antifraud provisions of the Securities Act and the Securities Exchange Act. Chapin touted Benja’s online advertising platform as successful, claiming it generated millions in revenue from popular consumer brands. He enlisted the help of associates who impersonated actual Benja representatives, as well as a person who posed as the “founder” of a venture capital fund who had invested heavily in Benja. Chapin is enjoined from further SEC violations and is barred from serving as an officer or director of a public company. SEC

March 24, 2022

Michael Gastauer of Germany has been ordered to pay $17 million in disgorgement, prejudgment interest, and civil penalty after he and his six U.S.-based entities were found to have aided and abetted a $165 million microcap fraud scheme.  Gastauer and his entities had allegedly disbursed of illegal stock sales orchestrated by Roger Knox of the U.K. via a Swiss entity called Wintercap SA.  Knox is awaiting sentencing in a parallel criminal action brought by the U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts.  SEC

March 18, 2022

The SEC has made three awards totaling approximately $3 million to three whistleblowers whose actions helped lead to three enforcement actions.  All three whistleblowers were said to have provided information that prompted the agency to open investigations into potential securities law violations.  Two of the whistleblowers were company insiders who reported concerns internally before coming forward.  SEC

March 15, 2022

Fund manager Eric Malley, his company MG Capital Management LP, and related entities MG Capital Realty Management LLC and MG GP III LP, have agreed to pay $12 million to resolve charges of defrauding investors.  In order to market two real estate funds managed by MG Capital, Malley allegedly made a number of material misrepresentations, including that he’d previously managed two highly successful funds and that investor funds were protected against loss.  In fact, Malley was a real estate broker with no experience managing investments, the prior funds did not exist, and he was misappropriating millions from the new funds.  SEC

March 11, 2022

A whistleblower was awarded $14 million by the SEC in a decision that departed from the recommendation of the Claims Review Staff to deny the award.  A report about a fraud committed by a company and its CEO was published online; two individuals claimed to be authors of the report, which contained analysis derived from a large number of publicly-available and non-public sources.  Neither submitted a TCR to the SEC at the time the report was published, although the whistleblower who received the award provided the report directly to Commission staff and provided additional information during the course of the enforcement action that the SEC initiated based on the report’s allegations.   The whistleblower did submit a TCR two months after the SEC posted a Notice of Covered Action, more than four years after the report was publicly released.  The Commission found that it would be in the public interest and consistent with the protection of investors to exercise its discretionary authority and grant an award despite the individual’s failure to initially file a TCR.  The second claimant, who did not submit a TCR at any time, and who did not communicate with enforcement staff, was denied an award.  SEC

March 8, 2022

The SEC has awarded more than $3.5 million to a whistleblower whose information significantly contributed to two successful enforcement actions by prompting staff to further investigate securities violations, saving time and resources, and helping to advance settlement discussions.  SEC

March 4, 2022

Venture capital fund adviser Alumni Ventures Group, LLC and its CEO Michael Collins have agreed to pay civil penalties totaling $800,000, and have returned $4.8 million to affected funds to resolve claims that they made misleading representations about AVG’s fees, and made inter-fund loans and transfers in violation of the funds’ respective operating agreements.  The SEC alleged that while AVG told customers that its management fee was the “industry standard ‘2 and 20.,” its practice was different from the industry standard in that it assessed the entire 20 percent in management fees – that is, 10 years’ worth of management fees of two percent per annum – upfront at the time an investor made the capital contribution.  SEC

March 3, 2022

City National Rochdale, LLC agreed to a civil penalty just over $30 million to resolve SEC allegations that the registered investment adviser failed to disclose to discretionary account clients that it invested their assets in proprietary mutual funds that generated fees for CNR and its affiliates, rather than in competitor funds whose fees may be lower.  The government also alleged that CNR failed to fully inform certain prospective customers of fees with respect to its proprietary funds.  The disclosure failures resulted in an undisclosed conflict of interest according to the SEC.  SEC
1 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 102

Learn about Whistleblower Rewards Programs