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SEC Whistleblower Lawyer Blog

Articles Posted in Whistleblower Rules

On June 24, 2019, the Commodity Future Trading Commission (CFTC) announced an award of approximately $2.5 million to a whistleblower who assisted in an enforcement action against Cargill Inc.This award evidences the importance that the CFTC places on reliable whistleblowers who prove to be essential resources in combating corporate misconduct. Without the whistleblower’s valuable information, this investigation, like many others, would remain unresolved.On June 24, 2019, the Commodity Future Trading Commission (CFTC) announced an award of approximately $2.5 million to a whistleblower who assisted in an enforcement action against Cargill Inc.

This award evidences the importance that the CFTC places on reliable whistleblowers who prove to be essential resources in combating corporate misconduct. Without the whistleblower’s valuable information, this investigation, like many others, would remain unresolved. Continue reading

On June 24, 2019, the Commodity Future Trading Commission (CFTC) announced an award of approximately $2.5 million to a whistleblower who assisted in an enforcement action against Cargill Inc.In November 2017, the CFTC ordered Cargill Inc., a global agricultural, commodity and financial services business headquartered in Minnesota, and its business, Cargill Risk Management, to pay a $10 million civil monetary penalty for violating the Commodity Exchange Act and CFTC regulations. In its November 2017 order, CFTC stated, "[i]n particular, Cargill was reluctant to disclose its mark up on certain complex swaps because of a concern that such transparency might ultimately reduce its revenue. As a result of this concern, Cargill chose to provide a mark that was based on a termination or 'unwind' value that included a portion of Cargill’s estimated revenue during the first sixty calendar days of the swap, and also credited the counterparty with a portion of its estimated revenue if the counterparty terminated the swap during that same period." The CFTC’s Order also highlighted Cargill’s failure to supervise its employees in relation to these fraudulent swaps.On June 24, 2019, the Commodity Future Trading Commission (CFTC) announced an award of approximately $2.5 million to a whistleblower who assisted in an enforcement action against Cargill Inc.

In November 2017, the CFTC ordered Cargill Inc., a global agricultural, commodity and financial services business headquartered in Minnesota, and its business, Cargill Risk Management, to pay a $10 million civil monetary penalty for violating the Commodity Exchange Act and CFTC regulations. In its November 2017 order, CFTC stated, “[i]n particular, Cargill was reluctant to disclose its mark up on certain complex swaps because of a concern that such transparency might ultimately reduce its revenue. As a result of this concern, Cargill chose to provide a mark that was based on a termination or ‘unwind’ value that included a portion of Cargill’s estimated revenue during the first sixty calendar days of the swap, and also credited the counterparty with a portion of its estimated revenue if the counterparty terminated the swap during that same period.” The CFTC’s Order also highlighted Cargill’s failure to supervise its employees in relation to these fraudulent swaps. Continue reading

On June 3, 2019, the SEC announced that two individuals will share a $3M award after providing information that led to a successful action surrounding a securities law violation. Since they supplied this information jointly, they will each receive half of the award. The amount is 30% of the financial penalties imposed on their former employer, identified by The Wall Street Journal and legal counsel for both individuals Merrill Lynch. (The SEC does not identify whistleblowers, their company, or any identifying information.)On June 3, 2019, the SEC announced that two individuals will share a $3M award after providing information that led to a successful action surrounding a securities law violation. Since they supplied this information jointly, they will each receive half of the award. The amount is 30% of the financial penalties imposed on their former employer, identified by The Wall Street Journal and legal counsel for both individuals Merrill Lynch. (The SEC does not identify whistleblowers, their company, or any identifying information.) Continue reading

On March 26, the SEC announced that it was going to award $37 million to a whistleblower who assisted in an enforcement action. This whistleblower provided the SEC with very important information.On March 26, the SEC announced that it was going to award $37 million to a whistleblower who assisted in an enforcement action. This whistleblower provided the SEC with very important information.

This situation shows how important whistleblowers are to the SEC. This investigation, and other previous investigations, would have never come to resolutions without information from whistleblowers. Continue reading

On March 26, the SEC announced that it was going to award $13 million to a whistleblower who assisted in an enforcement action. This whistleblower provided the SEC with very important information which allowed the SEC to target widespread misconduct.On March 26, the SEC announced that it was going to award $13 million to a whistleblower who assisted in an enforcement action. This whistleblower provided the SEC with very important information which allowed the SEC to target widespread misconduct.

This situation shows how important whistleblowers are to the SEC. This investigation, and other previous investigations, would have never come to resolutions without information from whistleblowers. Continue reading

On March 26, the SEC announced that it was going to award a total of $50 million to two whistleblowers who assisted in an enforcement action. They provided the SEC with very important information which allowed the SEC to take action. One whistleblower was awarded $13 million, and the other one was awarded $37 million. The $37 million is the SEC'S third-highest award.On March 26, the SEC announced that it was going to award a total of $50 million to two whistleblowers who assisted in an enforcement action. They provided the SEC with very important information which allowed the SEC to take action. One whistleblower was awarded $13 million, and the other one was awarded $37 million. The $37 million is the SEC’S third-highest award.

This situation shows how important whistleblowers are to the SEC. This investigation, and other previous investigations, would have never come to resolutions without information from whistleblowers. Continue reading

An overseas tipster recently helped the SEC take down a large and long-running securities fraud at the whistleblowers former company.

As per policy, the SEC would not identify the individual whistleblower or the specific securities violation they helped to uncover, but they did note the tipster worked for the company where the alleged securities violations took place and they offered to assist the SEC throughout its entire investigation. The SEC also said that the tipster was not a U.S. citizen and worked for the company in an overseas office.

Jane Norberg, chief of the SEC’s Office  spoke about the case saying “Company insiders often have valuable information that can help the SEC halt an ongoing securities law violation and better protect investors,” She also spoke about the SEC whistleblower program in general “The breadth of the SEC’s whistleblower program is demonstrated by this case, where the whistleblower, a foreign national working outside of the United States, affirmatively stepped forward to shine a light on the wrongdoing.”

A key component of the Dodd-Frank Act is headed to the Supreme Court for review. The court will decide if internal whistleblowers who have not yet reported potential violations to the SEC are protected under the anti-retaliation statutes of Dodd-Frank.

The Supreme Court review is necessary to resolve a split in the lower appellate courts stemming from a case brought by a former Digital Realty Trust Inc executive. In the case, Paul Somers a former employee of Digital Realty seeks to sue for alleged retaliation. Digital Realty had protested a decision by the Ninth Circuit that found that internal whistleblowers were protected under the Dodd-Frank Act’s anti-retaliation statutes, even if they had not yet reported potential violations to the SEC.

Somers’s lawyer, Daniel L. Geyser of Stris and Maher was not surprised by the Supreme Courts willingness to hear the case, although he strongly believed that the Ninth circuits interpretation of the law was in line with the scope of Dodd-Frank as written by Congress.

Even with political clouds of uncertainty from the Trump administration, the head of U.S Securities and Exchange Commission is moving the agency full speed ahead, all the while chastising companies that retaliate or discourage their employees from blowing the whistle on possible securities violations.

Last month, Jane Norberg; the current chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower spoke on a panel at the Practising Law Institute on Corporate Whistleblowing. During the panel, she told attendees that they could expect the same level of enforcement and investigation as in years past.

Open for business

The CFTC Whistleblower program today announced the launch of a news portal, event schedule, and FAQ for its whistleblower program on its website

This new portal will contain industry news, CFTC Events and a FAQ covering the Whistleblower program and information on submitting a whistleblower tip and claiming awards based on accurate tips. The CFTC hopes this newly created section of its site will provide higher quality tips that lead to larger sanctions and more awards being paid out to tipsters.

Some of the tips for Whistleblowers suggested by the CFTC

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