On Wednesday, December 12, 2018, National Whistleblower Center (NWC) Executive Director Stephen M. Kohn made a formal presentation to representatives from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) opposing the proposed SEC rule limiting awards in major fraud cases. Kohn was joined by NWC Policy Counsel Maya Efrati and NWC Legal Fellow Sarah Khan. The packed room included SEC leadership from the Office of General Counsel, the SEC Whistleblower Office and the Office of the Chairman of the Commission. The meeting lasted for over one hour. Continue Reading NWC Meets with SEC to Strongly Oppose “Caps” on SEC Whistleblower Rewards
The Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) recently published its annual report on the SEC Whistleblower program. According to the report, in 2018 the SEC paid the largest amount of whistleblower awards in the program’s history, with payouts totaling $168 million. This year the SEC whistleblower program also gave its largest whistleblower award to date, $84 million. Many of those receiving the reward were company outsiders and non-U.S. residents. Continue Reading SEC Whistleblower Program Pays Whistleblowers a Record $168 Million in 2018
Whistleblower’s Lawyer Calls for End to NDAs that Restrict Rights of Whistleblowers to Report Crimes to Law Enforcement
November 21, 2018. Washington, D.C. In testimony given today in Brussels, Belgium before the European Parliament’s Special Committee on Financial Crimes, Tax Evasion and Tax Avoidance Danske, Bank whistleblower Howard Wilkinson testified concerning the contents of the nondisclosure agreement (NDA) he was required to sign as a condition of obtaining severance pay at the Danske Bank. Continue Reading Bank Whistleblower Releases Contents to Danske Bank Secrecy Agreement
Washington, D.C. – September 21, 2018. The public comment period for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) proposed amendments to the rules governing its successful whistleblower program closed on Tuesday, September 18. More than 99% of the comments posted on the SEC’s public comment page oppose the proposed rules. Continue Reading SEC Receives Extensive Criticism in Comments on Proposed Changes to Whistleblower Program
Full transparency needed evaluate the Commission’s proposed rules.
Washington, D.C. September 17, 2018. Today the National Whistleblower Center (NWC), the nation’s leading whistleblower advocacy group, formally requested the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) to extend the public comment period for proposed changes to the SEC Whistleblower Program. Continue Reading Whistleblower Advocacy Group Requests SEC Extend Public Comment Period on Controversial Changes to Whistleblower Program
On Friday, August 31, CBS News will air a segment featuring biofuels fraud whistleblower, Alex “Sasha” Chepurko on the season finale of Whistleblower. The episode, Case of “THE 100 Million Dollar Scam”, details Chepurko’s incredible story of blowing the whistle on a nationwide biofuels scam. Continue Reading CBS News Special Features Biofuels Fraud Whistleblower
Washington, D.C. August 30, 2018. Today, the National Whistleblower Center (“NWC”) released a report analyzing data from Foreign Corrupt Practice Act (“FCPA”) cases since the law was passed in 1977, including several cases decided in 2018.
The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act is one of the most important whistleblower laws, especially for foreign nationals and for combatting corruption and bribery occurring on foreign soil. The FCPA prohibits companies issuing stock in the U.S. – and their subsidiaries – from bribing foreign officials to win contracts and other business. Continue Reading The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act is an Effective Tool to Stop Illegal Activity and Catch Illicit Profits
On June 29, 2018 the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced proposed amendments that undermine the rules governing its successful whistleblower program.
National Whistleblower Center (NWC) has issued an action alert urging commentary on these proposed amendments. The SEC proposal puts caps on rewards related to cases resulting in $100 million or more in fines. This removes the incentive to blow the whistle on large corporations committing fraud, and consequently will allow large corporate fraud to go unreported and unpunished.
The rewards for SEC whistleblower can be potentially limited for a successful qui tam lawsuit. The SEC is proposing controversial amendments to its whistleblower program. Under current directives, a whistleblower who provides information that leads to an SEC enforcement action receives 10%-30% of the recovery by the agency. This monetary provision incentivizes potential whistleblowers to disclose rather than remain silent.
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.