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SEC Whistleblower Lawyer Blog

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On September 30, 2020 the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that it had awarded nearly $5 million to four whistleblowers who provided information on wrongdoing to the SEC that led to a successful enforcement action. The SEC has awarded $175 million to 39 whistleblowers this fiscal year, which is more than in any previous year.  Stephanie Avakian, Director of the Division of Enforcement said “Today marks the end of a record-setting year for the whistleblower program. We’ve made significant strides to further streamline and accelerate the evaluation of claims under the rules, substantially increasing the rate at which whistleblower claims are evaluated and awards are issued.”  The SEC’s press release states that one of the whistleblowers was awarded almost $2.9 million for “alerting the Commission to hard-to-detect violations. The whistleblower provided critical information and supporting evidence that conserved SEC time and resources.”On September 30, 2020 the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that it had awarded nearly $5 million to four whistleblowers who provided information on wrongdoing to the SEC that led to a successful enforcement action. The SEC has awarded $175 million to 39 whistleblowers this fiscal year, which is more than in any previous year.

Stephanie Avakian, Director of the Division of Enforcement said “Today marks the end of a record-setting year for the whistleblower program. We’ve made significant strides to further streamline and accelerate the evaluation of claims under the rules, substantially increasing the rate at which whistleblower claims are evaluated and awards are issued.” Continue reading

The Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has announced a whistleblower award without revealing the dollar amount of the award in order to protect the whistleblower’s identity. The CFTC may be making a habit of withholding the amount of whistleblower awards. Whistleblower attorney Scott Silver calls it “An important additional step that insulates whistleblowers from being identified and facing personal and professional retaliation.” CFTC Whistleblower Award On September 4, 2020, the CFTC announced that a whistleblower provided a tip that helped to stop fraudulent activity that was harming investors. According to the CFTC’s website, their whistleblower program “provides monetary incentives to individuals who report possible violations of the Commodity Exchange Act that lead to a successful enforcement action, as well as privacy, and anti-retaliation protections for whistleblowers.”The Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has announced a whistleblower award without revealing the dollar amount of the award in order to protect the whistleblower’s identity.

The CFTC may be making a habit of withholding the amount of whistleblower awards. Whistleblower attorney Scott Silver calls it “An important additional step that insulates whistleblowers from being identified and facing personal and professional retaliation.” Continue reading

On Thursday, June 4, 2020, the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) announced a $50 million whistleblower award, to a whistleblower who assisted authorities with a currency trading investigation. The whistleblower, Grant Wilson, a former trader at Bank of New York Mellon Corp., notified the SEC, over a decade ago, that the bank was engaging in a pattern of overcharging big customers for currency trades.On Thursday, June 4, 2020, the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) announced a $50 million whistleblower award, to a whistleblower who assisted authorities with a currency trading investigation.

The whistleblower, Grant Wilson, a former trader at Bank of New York Mellon Corp., notified the SEC, over a decade ago, that the bank was engaging in a pattern of overcharging big customers for currency trades. Continue reading

On July 21, 2010, the Dodd-Frank Act was signed into law, establishing one of the most critical pieces of reform legislation, regarding securities and commodities actions worldwide. The purpose of the Act was to promote transparency, financial stability and improve accountability in the financial markets following the 2008 financial crisis.On July 21, 2010, the Dodd-Frank Act was signed into law, establishing one of the most critical pieces of reform legislation, regarding securities and commodities actions worldwide. The purpose of the Act was to promote transparency, financial stability and improve accountability in the financial markets following the 2008 financial crisis.

The Act also created the SEC’s Whistleblower’s Program, which enacted three primary types of new whistleblower laws: Continue reading

On Tuesday, April 28, 2020, the Securities & Exchange Commission (“SEC”) stated that it had awarded more than $18 million to another whistleblower this year. Tuesday’s award marks the fifth (5th) award this month and the eleventh (11th) award this year.  In 2020, the SEC Whistleblower Office has been very active and is recognizing multiple whistleblowers for their assistance in preventing ongoing securities and investment frauds. These cases frequently involve people blowing the whistle on a variety of misconduct from wrongdoing at major brokerage firms to ponzi schemes.On Tuesday, April 28, 2020, the Securities & Exchange Commission (“SEC”) stated that it had awarded more than $18 million to another whistleblower this year. Tuesday’s award marks the fifth whistleblower award this month and the eleventh this year.

In 2020, the SEC Whistleblower Office has been very active and is recognizing multiple whistleblowers for their assistance in preventing ongoing securities and investment frauds. These cases frequently involve people blowing the whistle on a variety of misconduct from wrongdoing at major brokerage firms to ponzi schemes. Continue reading

On Thursday, April 16, 2020, the Securities & Exchange Commission (“SEC”) stated that it had awarded more than $27 million to a whistleblower who tipped officials to misconduct which occurred overseas, in part. This historical award “marks several milestones for the program,” according to Jane Norberg, Chief of the SEC’’s Office of the Whistleblower.On Thursday, April 16, 2020, the Securities & Exchange Commission (“SEC”) stated that it had awarded more than $27 million to a whistleblower who tipped officials to misconduct which occurred overseas, in part. This historical award “marks several milestones for the program,” according to Jane Norberg, Chief of the SEC’’s Office of the Whistleblower.

Following the whistleblower’s tip to the SEC, the whistleblower played a crucial role in assisting the Commission with their investigation. The whistleblower’s invaluable assistance helped the SEC save significant resources it would have expended otherwise. Continue reading

The CFTC (Commodities Futures Trading Commission) has announced that it will award over $1,000,000 to a whistleblower for providing a tip that helped to expose a scheme that violated the CEA (Commodity Exchange Act). According to the press release, the whistleblower gave information first through their employer’s compliance program to another regulator, then to the CFTC.The CFTC (Commodities Futures Trading Commission) has announced that it will award over $1,000,000 to a whistleblower for providing a tip that helped to expose a scheme that violated the CEA (Commodity Exchange Act).

According to the press release, the whistleblower gave information first through their employer’s compliance program to another regulator, then to the CFTC.

The scheme isn’t named, but the release states that the tip led to charges being filed by the CFTC. Continue reading

On Friday, November 15, 2019 The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that a whistleblower award of more than $260,000 had been given to three people who jointly alerted the agency to a “well-concealed fraud targeting retail investors.” The SEC’s press release does not identify the fraud specifically, but does say that the whistleblowers were harmed investors themselves.On Friday, November 15, 2019 The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that a whistleblower award of more than $260,000 had been given to three people who jointly alerted the agency to a “well-concealed fraud targeting retail investors.”

The SEC’s press release does not identify the fraud specifically, but does say that the whistleblowers were harmed investors themselves. Continue reading

If you worked for GPB Capital Holdings or a broker-dealer that sold it, and you have information that helps an SEC enforcement action, you could qualify to receive money from an SEC whistleblower award.  To be eligible for a whistleblower award, a person must provide the SEC with non-public information that is original and leads to a successful enforcement action. When the sanction is $1 million or more, a whistleblower award can range from 10% to 30% of the money collected.If you worked for GPB Capital Holdings or a broker-dealer that sold it, and you have information that helps an SEC enforcement action, you could qualify to receive money from an SEC whistleblower award.

To be eligible for a whistleblower award, a person must provide the SEC with non-public information that is original and leads to a successful enforcement action. When the sanction is $1 million or more, a whistleblower award can range from 10% to 30% of the money collected. Continue reading

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) alleges that Collectors Café, an online memorabilia auction company, and its CEO Mykalai Kontilai, illegally tried to stop investors from reporting misconduct to the government in violation of the SEC’s whistleblower protection rules.  The SEC already sued Kontilai and Collectors Café for operating a “fraudulent $23 million securities offering based on false statements to investors.”The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) alleges that Collectors Café, an online memorabilia auction company, and its CEO Mykalai Kontilai, illegally tried to stop investors from reporting misconduct to the government in violation of the SEC’s whistleblower protection rules.

The SEC already sued Kontilai and Collectors Café for operating a “fraudulent $23 million securities offering based on false statements to investors.” Continue reading

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