Securities and Exchange Commission

In Digital Realty Trust v. Somers the Supreme Court issued a destructive decision that will have far-reaching consequences for whistleblowers. Seemingly unaware of the practical consequences of its decision, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled to leave whistleblowers who report internally without critical protections under the Dodd-Frank Act.

Writing for Law 360, NWC Executive Director Stephen M. Kohn explains that employees now take grave risks in using internal compliance programs. In light of the Supreme Court’s decision, whistleblowers should hire an attorney and take their complaints directly to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Continue Reading National Whistleblower Center Executive Director Explains Why Supreme Court Decision in Digital Realty is Disastrous for Internal Compliance Programs  

Washington, D.C. November 28, 2017. Rejecting arguments by Senator Charles Grassley, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and numerous representatives from the whistleblower community, during today’s oral argument in Digital Realty Trust v. Somers (No. 16-1276), the U.S. Supreme Court Justices expressed support for stripping internal whistleblowers of protection under the Dodd-Frank Act (“DFA”).

Continue Reading Supreme Court Poised to Eviscerate Internal Reporting

SEC anticipates paying an additional $221 million to whistleblowers in FY2018.

Washington, DC, November 16, 2017.  The Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of the Whistleblower issued its annual report today. The Commission confirmed that “whistleblowers have provided tremendous value to its enforcement efforts and significantly helped investors.” It also confirmed that whistleblower disclosures have “directly” contributed to “hundreds of millions of dollars returned to investors.” Continue Reading SEC’s Annual Report Confirms $50 Million Paid to Whistleblowers

Corporate whistleblower protection “undermined” if internal complaints not protected.

Washington, D.C. June 26, 2017.  The U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari today in the case of Digital Realty Trust, Inc. v. Somers, Paul.  The Court will decide the issue of whether internal reports to managers are covered under the Dodd-Frank Act’s anti-retaliation law. Continue Reading U.S. Supreme Court to Review Dodd-Frank Anti-Retaliation Provisions

Later this week, the House of Representatives is set to vote on the Financial CHOICE Act. Congressman Jeb Hensarling (R – TX), Chair of the House Financial Services Committee, designed and championed this bill. The CHOICE Act will repeal major parts of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Financial Protection Act, and deregulate U.S. financial markets. The bill also advances a toxic anti-whistleblower policy (Section 828), which would undermine the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) highly successful whistleblower program—incapacitating the most effective tool to rein in misconduct and criminal activity on Wall Street.

Continue Reading NWC Leads Opposition to Anti-Whistleblower Financial CHOICE Act

Today, National Whistleblower Center Executive Director Stephen Kohn submitted testimony to the House Financial Services Committee in defense of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) whistleblower program—a highly successful program that has protected investors and recovered $1 billion from Wall Street fraudsters since its inception.

Section 823 of the draft Financial Choice Act of 2017 directly, and negatively, impacts the whistleblower protections afforded under the Securities and Exchange Act (“SEA”).  While it purports to exclude opportunistic individuals from the SEA’s reward provisions if they are “culpable” for the violation for which they are reporting, this amendment is not needed and would undermine the SEA’s highly successful whistleblower law.

Continue Reading National Whistleblower Center Testifies Before House Committee in Defense of the SEC Whistleblower Program

Washington, D.C., July 8, 2016. Last week, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced that the Chief of the Office of the Whistleblower, Sean McKessy, would leave the agency in July. Mr. McKessy was the first head of the SEC’s whistleblower program and helped to establish the important and effective whistleblower office.

Continue Reading Sean McKessy, Chief of SEC’s Whistleblower Office, Leaving Agency Later This Month

On May 26, 2016, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals issued a body blow to the SEC’s ability to go after corporations under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) by imposing a five-year statute of limitations on disgorgement enforcement actions. The decision in SEC. v. Graham et al.  placed a five-year statute of limitations on all SEC disgorgement and declaratory relief enforcement actions. This holding conflicts with decisions previously issued by the D.C. and Ninth Circuits Courts of Appeal. Continue Reading NWC Urges Immediate Appeal of the Eleventh Circuit’s Imposition of a Statute of Limitations on FCPA Disgorgement Enforcement Actions

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