SEC Whistleblower Blog

SEC Whistleblower Chief Discusses "Bounty Awards" and Retaliation in Wall Street Journal's Risk and Compliance Blog

September 25, 2013
The head of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (“SEC’s”) Office of the Whistleblower, Sean McKessy, spoke with the Wall Street Journal’s Risk and Compliance blog on September 24, 2013, to discuss the pace and size of whistleblower awards under the SEC's new “bounty” program and his agency’s role in enforcing the...

SEC's Stephen Cohen Touts SEC Whistleblower Office at Corporate Whistleblowing Forum

September 17, 2013
Stephen Cohen, an associate director of the Enforcement Division of the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), commented last week that companies should be trying to show off the quality of their internal compliance programs to dissuade the SEC from taking enforcement actions against them.  The comments were made at the...

SEC Begins Disbursement of Second Whistleblower Award

September 9, 2013
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced on Friday, August 30, 2013, that its second-ever whistleblower award, to be split among three anonymous claimants, will amount to $125,000, for their tip exposing a sham investment fund.  The fund had already raised $1.7 million before the operation was shut down as...

SEC Whistleblower Chief Discusses Recent Legal Developments

August 30, 2013
The Chief of the Office of the Whistleblower at the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), Sean McKessy, was interviewed by Law360 last week about the whistleblower office’s bounty awards, recent court rulings on the scope of Dodd-Frank’s anti-retaliation provision and other topics related to the developing law surrounding...

Financial Fraud Whistleblowers Limited by Fifth Circuit Ruling

July 22, 2013
Whistleblowers suffered a defeat this week in a decision made the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in the case of Asadi v. G.E. Energy (USA), L.L.C. We wrote about this case just over a year ago, after the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas dismissed Khaled Asadi’s case after finding that the...

New SEC Enforcement Division Directors to Maintain Focus on Fraud

July 12, 2013
The new co-directors of the Enforcement Division of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), George Canellos and Andrew Ceresney, were featured in an article in the National Law Journal earlier this week.  The article noted that while the agency has “limited resources and more responsibility than the SEC has ever...

SEC Will Require Admission of Guilt in Some Civil Settlements

June 20, 2013
Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) Chairman Mary Jo White announced on Tuesday, June 18, 2013, that the Commission will begin requiring admission of guilt in certain types of civil settlements, according to the Washington Post.  The announcement comes in the midst of an ongoing controversy that arguably began in 2011,...

SEC Issues Second Reward Under Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Incentive Provision

June 14, 2013
On Wednesday, June 12, 2013, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) issued its second-ever whistleblower award under the whistleblower provisions of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (“Dodd-Frank”).  The award was made to three whistleblowers who provided information leading to the...

SEC's Cohen Predicts "Extremely Significant Whistleblower Awards" Coming Soon

June 13, 2013
Securities whistleblowers may have reason to celebrate soon, according to Stephen Cohen, the Associate Director of the Enforcement Division of the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”).  At a panel at the Corporate Crime Reporter conference last month held at the National Press Club, Cohen stated that within the next...

SEC Intends to Shift Focus Back to Accounting Fraud

June 6, 2013
The Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), Mary Jo White, is leading a charge to shift the agency’s civil enforcement action focus to accounting fraud, according to an article in the Wall Street Journal.  The article noted that from 2003 to 2005, such cases constituted more than 25 percent of the...

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