An article titled Battle over corporate whistleblower rules won’t end with SEC vote discusses corporate opposition to SEC rules implementing the whistleblower reward provision of the Dodd-Frank Act. The business community was disappointed that the final SEC rules do not require employees to blow internally before reporting fraud to the SEC. The article states:
The disagreements between whistleblower lawyers and corporate defense attorneys foreshadow what is likely to be could be years of trench warfare over the rules. One issue that may get attention from lawyers on both sides is SEC language that mostly excludes accountants and internal compliance employees from qualifying for whistleblower awards. (They could qualify for a bounty, though, if they can show the company is impeding investigation of wrongdoing.)
Jason Zuckerman, a Washington, D.C., whistleblower attorney, says companies that want to limit the number of employees who could qualify as whistleblowers might, for example, “force all employees to sign a disingenuous policy statement acknowledging that every employee’s job duty includes reporting and investigating fraud or other SEC violations.” Zuckerman says that while he doesn’t know of any specific companies that have taken that step, he has heard from corporate attorneys who plan to recommend having employees sign such statements.
In the past, he notes, companies and their advocates were so successful in narrowing the definition of who qualified as a whistleblower under Sarbanes-Oxley that many whistleblower attorneys hesitated to make claims under the law.
Experienced SEC Whistleblower Lawyers
The experienced whistleblower lawyers at Zuckerman Law represent whistleblowers worldwide before the SEC under the Dodd-Frank SEC Whistleblower Program. The firm has a licensed Certified Public Accountant and Certified Fraud Examiner on staff to enhance its ability to investigate and disclose complex financial fraud to the SEC, and two of the firm’s attorneys served in high-level position at a government agency that protects whistleblowers. Firm Principal Jason Zuckerman has been named by Washingtonian Magazine as a “Top Whistleblower Lawyer” and the firm has been ranked by U.S. News as a Tier 1 Firm in Labor & Employment Litigation.
Whistleblower law firm Zuckerman Law has substantial experience investigating securities fraud schemes and preparing effective submissions to the SEC concerning a wide range of federal securities violations, including:
- Accounting fraud;
- Investment and securities fraud;
- EB-5 investment fraud;
- Manipulation of a security’s price or volume;
- Fraudulent securities offerings and Ponzi schemes;
- Unregistered securities offerings;
- Investment adviser fraud;
- False or misleading statements about a company or investment;
- Inadequate internal controls; and
- Violations of auditor independence rules.
For more information about the SEC Whistleblower Program, see the following resources:
- See our column in Forbes: One Billion Reasons Why The SEC Whistleblower-Reward Program Is Effective.
- See our column in Going Concern: Sarbanes-Oxley 15 Years Later: Accountants Need to Speak Up Now More Than Ever.
- See our post in Accounting Today: Whistleblower Protections and Incentives for Auditors and Accountants.
- See our article providing Tips for SEC Whistleblowers
- See our post in The Compliance and Ethics Blog: Shkreli Trial Reveals the Challenges Faced by Compliance Whistleblowers.
- Zuckerman Law SEC Whistleblower Reward Program FAQ
- Tips for SEC Whistleblowers
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