On October 6, 2016, Katz, Marshall & Banks partner Alexis Ronickher authored an article for the FCPA Blog entitled, "SEC brings its first stand-alone whistleblower retaliation action." In the article, Ms. Ronickher discussed the significance behind the U.S. Security and Exchange Comission's (SEC) recent enforcement action against International Gaming Technology (IGT), which resulted in a $500,000 settlement. The SEC found that IGT unlawfully retaliated against a former executive, represented by Alexis Ronickher and Lisa Banks, who reported suspected securities violations to the Commission. The decision marks the first time the SEC has taken a stand-alone enforcement action against a company for unlawful retaliation without charging additional securities violations.
Remarking on the decision, Ms. Ronickher wrote, "The IGT action ends any debate about how seriously the SEC takes its authority to protect whistleblowers...This demonstrates that the SEC considers whistleblower retaliation itself to constitute a serious violation of the nation’s securities laws." The whistleblower, who has chosen to retain anonymity, also has a pending complaint of unlawful retaliation in violation of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) with the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). To read the full article, click here.