Today, we expect Wall Street to be as much a part of the community as Main Street. For corporations with social responsibility commitments and investor groups with social responsibility mandates, whistleblowers are a crucial force for compliance. Whistleblowers ensure that businesses play by the rules, including those that they’ve set for themselves, as part of their social responsibility commitments. As the number of whistleblower claims rise, both in quality and scope, the potential impact of these cases on socially responsible investing, and on companies committed to and impacted by such frameworks, needs to be placed in the spotlight.

Continue Reading Using Whistleblower Laws to Uphold Social Responsibility Commitments

On Tuesday October 25th, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced a global settlement along with the U.S. Department of Justice and Brazilian authorities that requires aircraft manufacturer Embraer S.A. to pay more than $205 million to resolve alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).

Continue Reading Brazilian Aircraft Maker Settles Bribery Charges for $205 Million

Washington D.C. October 9, 2016.  Och-Ziff Capital Management Group (Och-Ziff), A New York-based alternative investment and hedge fund manager, agreed to pay a combined total amount of U.S. criminal and regulatory penalties of approximately $412 million to settle charges it violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.  In separate announcements yesterday the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) each described the actions of Och-Ziff which led to the charges the company violated the FCPA. Continue Reading Och-Ziff Hedge Fund Pays Over $400 Million to Settle Foreign Bribery Charges

Washington, D.C. October 5, 2016. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced today that Anheuser-Busch InBev has agreed to pay $6 million to settle charges that it violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and chilled a whistleblower who reported the misconduct. Continue Reading Anheuser Busch InBev Settles SEC Claim It Silenced Employee

There are more effective ways to protest lax enforcement of financial fraud

Last week, it was widely reported that Eric Ben-Artzi, a Deutsche Bank whistleblower stated he will refuse a portion of his whistleblower award from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s whistleblower program.   Mr. Ben-Artzi had worked at the bank as a vice president and he tells an all too-familiar story of a loyal corporate insider reporting serious fraud internally only to be betrayed by corporate compliance officials and then getting fired by management.

Mr. Ben-Artzi next reported the wrongdoing to the SEC and later formally asked the SEC in 2015 to grant him a monetary award for helping the SEC to fine Deutsche Bank. After being awarded more than $8 million he says he will refuse to accept a portion of that whistleblower award (but allow his ex-wife and attorney to collect a portion of his share) as a form of protest to the SEC’s collusion with Wall Street.

However, refusing the award makes little sense, because there are more effective ways the whistleblower can protest lax enforcement and corporate fraud. Continue Reading Deutsche Bank Whistleblower Should Accept SEC Whistleblower Award

The SEC Office of the Whistleblower posts Notices of Covered Action where a final judgment or order, by itself or together with other prior judgments or orders in the same action issued after July 21, 2010, results in monetary sanctions exceeding $1 million. Subject to the Final Rules, individuals who voluntarily provided the Commission with original information after July 21, 2010 that led to the successful enforcement of a covered action listed below are eligible to apply for a whistleblower award. Once a Notice of Covered Action is posted by the SEC, individuals have 90 calendar days to apply for an award.

View the updated list below:

Continue Reading SEC Whistleblower Awards List June 2016

The SEC Office of the Whistleblower posts Notices of Covered Action where a final judgment or order, by itself or together with other prior judgments or orders in the same action issued after July 21, 2010, results in monetary sanctions exceeding $1 million. Subject to the Final Rules, individuals who voluntarily provided the Commission with original information after July 21, 2010 that led to the successful enforcement of a covered action listed below are eligible to apply for a whistleblower award. Once a Notice of Covered Action is posted by the SEC, individuals have 90 calendar days to apply for an award.

View the updated list below:   Continue Reading March-May 2016 SEC Whistleblower Awards List

The SEC Office of the Whistleblower posts Notices of Covered Action where a final judgment or order, by itself or together with other prior judgments or orders in the same action issued after July 21, 2010, results in monetary sanctions exceeding $1 million. Subject to the Final Rules, individuals who voluntarily provided the Commission with original information after July 21, 2010 that led to the successful enforcement of a covered action listed below are eligible to apply for a whistleblower award. Once a Notice of Covered Action is posted by the SEC, individuals have 90 calendar days to apply for an award.

View the updated list below:   Continue Reading October – December 2015 SEC Whistleblower Awards List

Washington, D.C. January 15, 2016. The Securities and Exchange Commission issued a landmark award to an industry expert who provided it with “high-quality analysis” in an enforcement action.  The whistleblower award of more than $700,000 marks the first time the SEC has issued an award to someone outside a company since the whistleblower office opened in 2011.
Continue Reading SEC Awards Company Outsider $700,000

Washington, D.C. December 22, 2015. On December 8, 2015, the Eastern District of Tennessee dismissed a whistleblower’s claims, finding that the Plaintiff was not entitled to protection under the whistleblower provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act. Verble v. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC et al., 3:15-cv-00074 (E.D. Tenn. Dec. 8, 2015).  The court’s decision further divides the split amongst circuits regarding the scope of the Dodd-Frank’s whistleblower protection provision. Continue Reading Court Ruling Threatens Internal Compliance Programs