SEC Whistleblower Program, the Advocates, and Enforcers

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August 15, 2016

The enforcement of financial regulations in the United States was completely overhauled in the year 2010 when Congress passed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Radical changes were effected to the regulations, a phenomenon that nobody could have earlier envisaged. Individual citizens now have the power to report any violations of the federal security laws to the Security Exchange Commission (SEC). It was the culmination of the Whistleblower program which afforded employment protection and financial motivation to would-be whistleblowers. http://www.secwhistlebloweradvocate.com/program/program-overview

The Labaton Sucharow law firm was among the pioneer firms that took advantage of this Act to enforce the SEC regulations. The firm started a practice that was specifically centered on protecting and advocating for the rights of the whistleblowers. It had a securities litigation platform, the Whistleblower Representation Practice, which comprised a team of investigators, forensic accountants and financial analysts with experience in matters of federal and state law enforcement in protecting the rights of the whistleblowers. Among the leading lights was Jordan A. Thomas who was instrumental in the formulation and development of the whistleblower program. He was part and parcel of the team that drafted the proposed legislation including the final implementation rules. This positioned him as an advocate as well as an enforcer of the Act.

In the Act, whistleblowers are entitled to payments of between 10%-30% of the money collected as a consequence of a successful SEC enforcement action and one which exceeds the $1 million threshold. There is also a provision of additional awards in relation to money that is collected and brought by other regulatory and enforcement organizations or groups. These incentives have the element of motivating individuals to report such violations and at the same time preventing would-be violators from such actions. It also has the provision of protecting the whistleblower from the retaliatory actions of his/her employer when such violations are reported in line with the prescribed rules and regulations. Anonymous reporting is allowed under the representation of an attorney.

For inquiries about the program, an individual should contact the Whistleblower Representation Team to request for a case evaluation by using the team’s website, email or through a telephone call. The consultations are free of charge. It is also recommended that an individual should not divulge any identifying or personal information or the names of the violators at the initial stages of the consultations.

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