On September 29, 2016, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) announced that casino-gaming company International Game Technology (“IGT”) agreed to pay a $500,000 penalty for firing an employee who reported to senior management and the SEC that the company’s financial statements might be distorted.
The whistleblower retaliation case is the second of its kind since the Dodd-Frank Act authorized the agency to bring retaliation charges. According to the SEC order, the employee had been a director of an IGT division since 2008 and received positive performance reviews throughout his time with the company and never received any sort of discipline or corrective action.
The whistleblower received a favorable evaluation in the 2014 mid-year review and was deemed an employee on the rise, according to the order. Shortly after that review, the whistleblower raised concerns to his managers, to the company’s internal complaint hotline, and to the SEC that IGT’s publicly-reported financial statements may have been misstated. Approximately three months after the whistleblower raised his concerns, according to the order, IGT terminated him.