Why Public Companies Need to Incentivize Whistleblowers

The Securities and Exchange Commission’s whistleblower rewards program has prompted over 50,000 tip-offs in the last decade that have led to public companies paying almost $5 billion in fines and penalties.   This is an embarrassing and costly state of affairs for some of the world’s most innovative companies, and something needs to change. If public companies want to […]

Twitter Whistleblower Case Highlights Oversight Issues At The SEC

Last month, Peiter “mudge” Zatko blew the whistle on Twitter to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Millions of people tuned in to hear Zatko testify before Congress that Twitter had violated multiple laws. Even assuming Zatko is right, and Twitter did engage in serious legal violations, it’s never guaranteed that the SEC will prosecute. In […]

SEC Whistleblower Fines For September: 15 Cases for $36 Million

At the end of every month, the SEC publishes a Notice of Covered Action (NOCA) for recent enforcement actions with monetary penalties exceeding $1 million. For September the SEC published fifteen NOCAs which featured nearly $36 million in sanctions.  Once a NOCA is published, any whistleblower who provided information to the SEC on the case has 90 days […]

The Twitter Whistleblower – Everything You Need To Know

It’s been almost a year since Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen burst into public consciousness with her allegations that Facebook magnified hate and discrimination. Haugen filed her grievances with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), testified before Congress and then embarked on a whirlwind media tour highlighting the allegations. Last week, Twitter saw a potentially similar […]

SEC Fines In August: Thirteen Cases For $293 million

At the end of every month, the SEC publishes a Notice of Covered Action (NOCA) for all recent enforcement actions with sanctions exceeding $1 million. This month the SEC published thirteen NOCAs which featured over $293 million in sanctions.  Once a NOCA is published, any whistleblower who provided information to the SEC on the case has 90 days […]

Can Legal, Compliance or Audit Claim SEC Whistleblower Awards?

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) operates an enormously successful whistleblower award program. In just ten years, it has paid out over $1.3 billion to individuals who have helped the SEC prosecute hundreds of legal violations. Most award recipients are regular employees, but a small portion have been legal or compliance personnel. Compliance and audit personnel occupy a […]

SEC Whistleblower Program Rarely Pays Out Compliance Personnel

On July 19th 2022, the SEC paid yet another multi-million dollar whistleblower award under its whistleblower program, bringing the total paid to whistleblowers over $1.3 billion.  When the program was introduced over a decade ago, some feared that the program would encourage compliance personnel and lawyers to abuse their positions and report the very clients they represented. However, […]

SEC Award of $17 million Marks Milestone for Whistleblowers

Last week, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced its intention to pay a whistleblower $17 million for reporting information that led to fines in an SEC enforcement action, and a related covered action.  Speaking on the award, Chief of the SEC Whistleblower Office, Creola Kelly stated that the award “underscores the SEC’s commitment to rewarding meritorious […]

Accountability at the SEC Enforcement Division

Whistleblower Frances Haugen recently reported Facebook to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for allegedly fraudulent statements Facebook made to investors. Millions of people all over the world tuned in to hear Haugen testify before Congress about the wrongdoing she witnessed. Right now, the staff attorneys at the SEC’s Enforcement Division are likely conducting an investigation […]

Securities and Exchange Commission Under Fire For Partisanship

Early last week, the Senate confirmed President Biden’s nominations for two new Commissioners at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). One of the appointments confirmed was that of Jaime Lizárraga, a longtime aide to Democratic  Speaker Nancy Pelosi. In addition, Biden also confirmed a Republican spot that had been left open since the resignation of […]