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SEC Whistleblower Lawyer Blog

Articles Posted in SEC Whistleblower

The SEC has awarded two individuals more than $3M related to two agency separate enforcement actions.  In the first, the agency awarded $3.2M to one individual who alerted the SEC to certain violations. The individual also gave the SEC crucial subject matter expertise, which conserved agency resources, as well as which identifying important issues on which to focus.  The SEC awarded second individual $100,000 for “significant information and ongoing assistance” in the detection of an ongoing investor fraud, then put a stop to it.  A whistleblower is an individual that reports a person and/or organization engaged in illegal and illicit activity. It can be anyone working in an organization, or someone affiliated, such as a customer or vendor. Anyone with evidence of fraud or other wrongdoing can be a whistleblower. The SEC primarily handles cases related to securities and other financial fraud.  Since beginning its Whistleblower program in 2012, the SEC has awarded more than $816M to 153 individuals who have provided critical information to the agency. The awards are funded by the SEC’s investor protection fund created by Congress and funded by financial sanctions from those who violate SEC laws. None of the funds are from the investors themselves. The SEC has awarded two individuals more than $3M related to two agency separate enforcement actions.

In the first, the agency awarded $3.2M to one individual who alerted the SEC to certain violations. The individual also gave the SEC crucial subject matter expertise, which conserved agency resources, as well as which identifying important issues on which to focus. Continue reading

The SEC today awarded a whistleblower a sum of $28M after providing the SEC with information that led to a successful enforcement action and a second related action with another federal agency. The second agency was not identified. As a result of the informant’s information, both the SEC and the second federal agency made the decision to open and pursue individual investigations. Because of the second related action, the informant was also eligible for another award brought about from the initial SEC investigation and enforcement action. “The SEC has awarded more than $900 million over the life of the program, including almost $85 million to nine individuals in this month alone, which reflects the vitality and continued success of the SEC’s whistleblower program,” said Emily Pasquinelli, the current Acting Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower.  The agency has awarded an astonishing $901 million to 163 individuals since the program began in 2012, with no signs of slowing down.The SEC today awarded a whistleblower a sum of $28M after providing the SEC with information that led to a successful enforcement action and a second related action with another federal agency. The second agency was not identified.

As a result of the informant’s information, both the SEC and the second federal agency made the decision to open and pursue individual investigations. Because of the second related action, the informant was also eligible for another award brought about from the initial SEC investigation and enforcement action. Continue reading

In two separate cases, the SEC has awarded four individuals sums that total over $31 million for critical information that led to successful enforcement actions. The first award of $27 million went to two individuals who not only provided the agency with vital information, they offered continual assistance and met in-person with agency staff on three different days. Their information and ongoing assistance for an existing investigation helped secure the specific allegations that led to charges against the company. A third individual involved with this case was denied any award because they provided no information to the agency during the course of the investigation. In the second case, the agency awarded $3.75 million to one tipster, and $750,000 to the second. Ironically, the individual who was awarded the larger amount had their original claim denied, but appealed the decision. That information they provided led to a claim against an individual, and ultimately an award, by proving that it was provided voluntarily and prior to the request. The agency later stated that the individual awarded the larger amount “provided information and assistance that was more important to the resolution of the overall case.”In two separate cases, the SEC has awarded four individuals sums that total over $31 million for critical information that led to successful enforcement actions.

The first award of $27 million went to two individuals who not only provided the agency with vital information, they offered continual assistance and met in-person with agency staff on three different days. Their information and ongoing assistance for an existing investigation helped secure the specific allegations that led to charges against the company. Continue reading

The Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) announced today the award of $3.6 million to a whistleblower whose assistance helped the agency with another case.  The individual offered “valuable information” to the agency’s attention, leading to a new investigation of wrongdoing and violations of federal securities laws. The whistleblower’s sustained assistance to SEC staff allowed the agency to continue its investigation, leading to a successful enforcement action.  The identity of the whistleblower is confidential, as well as defining facts about the investigation and subsequent enforcement action. However, the SEC releases some information to let the public know about the battle against fraud and other investment-related crimes, as well as to encourage others to come forward if they witness wrongdoing.  The SEC has handed more than $800 million in awards to individuals who have submitted tips and other information that resulted in an enforcement action. Awards are based on the amount of financial sanctions (money) recovered from the companies engaged in wrongdoing. An award is usually made if there are more than $1M in fines and fees, and are from 10% to 30% of the sanctions. Investor funds are returned whenever possible, and are never part of these awards.The Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) announced today the award of $3.6 million to a whistleblower whose assistance helped the agency with another case.

The individual offered “valuable information” to the agency’s attention, leading to a new investigation of wrongdoing and violations of federal securities laws. The whistleblower’s sustained assistance to SEC staff allowed the agency to continue its investigation, leading to a successful enforcement action. Continue reading

The SEC announced today that it has awarded $22 million to two individuals who provided “information and assistance” to the agency that resulted in a successful enforcement action against a financial services firm.  The first whistleblower received a whopping $18 million award due to being the original source of information that started the investigation.  The agency awarded the second whistleblower $4 million submitted important information during the course of the investigation, after it began.  Both whistleblowers provided reliable information and offered assistance that helped the agency in understanding the complexity of the transactions related to the investigation.  Whistleblowers can become eligible for awards when they provide the agency reliable information that leads to a successful enforcement action.The SEC announced today that it has awarded $22 million to two individuals who provided “information and assistance” to the agency that resulted in a successful enforcement action against a financial services firm.

The first whistleblower received a whopping $18 million award due to being the original source of information that started the investigation. Continue reading

The US Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) recently awarded $1.7 million to two whistleblowers who provided critical information within 30 days via Form TCR (Tip, Complaint or Referral). Both provided their information in accordance with the new Securities and Exchange Act Rule 21F-9(e).  The first award saw a whistleblower receive $900,000 after providing information on a fraudulent scheme that recurrently defrauded investors. The provided evidence allowed the SEC to further a continuing investigation that ultimately led to a shutdown of operations. The whistleblower offered a significant amount of evidence that included an essential declaration.  The second whistleblower offered critical evidence of “false and misleading statements made to investors.” The individual produced documents as well as participated in interviews during the investigation. As a result, defrauded investors saw millions in returns, and the SEC awarded this individual $800,000. The US Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) recently awarded $1.7 million to two whistleblowers who provided critical information within 30 days via Form TCR (Tip, Complaint or Referral). Both provided their information in accordance with the new Securities and Exchange Act Rule 21F-9(e). Continue reading

In yet another tip that yielded a successful investigation, the SEC awarded $500,000 to two whistleblowers who provided cruicial information. In addition to the SEC, other law enforcement agencies were involved in stopping the continuing investor fraud. The press release indicated that the individuals offered the agencies “substantial, ongoing assistance that focused the investigation.” The information saved the involved agents time and additional resources. There were multiple SEC actions as well as “a related action from another government agency.”   The SEC depends on whistleblower tips to find and/or continue investigations into securities fraud and other criminal acts that harm investors. Tips like these can fill in gaps that investigators might now otherwise discover on their own, and help bring wrongdoers to justice sooner. Payments like these are made from an investor protection fund established by Congress. The funds come from monetary sanctions paid to the SEC by those who violate the law. Information that leads to a successful SEC action can see whistleblowers awarded monies. The usual awards are between 10% and 30% in cases that net over $1M in fines and sanctions. In this case, the two whistleblowers will split the $500,000 award 50/50.In yet another tip that yielded a successful investigation, the SEC awarded $500,000 to two whistleblowers who provided cruicial information. In addition to the SEC, other law enforcement agencies were involved in stopping the continuing investor fraud.

The press release indicated that the individuals offered the agencies “substantial, ongoing assistance that focused the investigation.” The information saved the involved agents time and additional resources. There were multiple SEC actions as well as “a related action from another government agency.” Continue reading

The SEC announced yet another award to a whistleblower who helped initiate a successful enforcement action.  Jane Norberg, Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower, stated:  “The whistleblower alerted the SEC to previously unknown conduct and thereafter provided multiple submissions, identified potential witnesses, and met with staff on several occasions. As the numerous recent awards make clear, whistleblowers like the one awarded today play an integral part in the success of the SEC’s enforcement program.”    The whistleblower will receive an award of $1.5M for providing information and assistance to the agency that led to the successful enforcement action.  Whistleblowers are awarded monies when they provide “original, timely, and credible information” to the agency that concludes with a successful enforcement action like this one. The award monies are taken from a fund established by Congress of collected financial sanctions from wrongdoers. Nothing is taken from defrauded or harmed investors. When sanctions exceed $1M, the individual may be eligible for an award ranging from 10% to 30% of the collected monies.The SEC announced yet another award to a whistleblower who helped initiate a successful enforcement action.

Jane Norberg, Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower, stated:

“The whistleblower alerted the SEC to previously unknown conduct and thereafter provided multiple submissions, identified potential witnesses, and met with staff on several occasions. As the numerous recent awards make clear, whistleblowers like the one awarded today play an integral part in the success of the SEC’s enforcement program.”   Continue reading

A senior financial analyst at The Walt Disney Company internally reported billions of dollars of alleged financial irregularities and claims that she was harassed and retaliated against for speaking out. In 2017 she filed an SEC whistleblower complaint. Now she is suing Disney.  Sandra Kuba, the plaintiff in a lawsuit against Disney, is a certified Public Accountant (CPA) who was hired as a financial analyst for Disney Financial Services in 1999. Her complaint (link to complaint saved in downloads “Sandra Kuba…”) states that “Throughout her employment, Plaintiff worked incredibly hard and consistently received positive performance reviews.”  SEC Whistleblower Alleges Disney Overstated Revenue  In 2013, Disney promoted Kuba to the position of senior financial analyst. Kuba claims that she became aware that employees in the parks and resorts segment were systematically overstating revenue “by billions of dollars by exploiting weaknesses in the company’s accounting software.”  One of the ways Kuba alleges Disney employees did this was by “recording fictitious revenue for complimentary golf rounds or for free guest promotions.”  She also alleged that revenue for $500 gift cards was recorded at face value even though guests only paid a discounted rate of $395 for them.  Kuba alleges that she reported this wrongdoing to her supervisors but was ignored. In 2017, she emailed her allegations to the president of Walt Disney World Resort, George Kalogridis.A senior financial analyst at The Walt Disney Company internally reported billions of dollars of alleged financial irregularities and claims that she was harassed and retaliated against for speaking out. In 2017 she filed an SEC whistleblower complaint. Now she is suing Disney.

Sandra Kuba, the plaintiff in a lawsuit against Disney, is a certified Public Accountant (CPA) who was hired as a financial analyst for Disney Financial Services in 1999. Her complaint states that “Throughout her employment, Plaintiff worked incredibly hard and consistently received positive performance reviews.” Continue reading

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