Leading SEC Whistleblower Lawyer Quoted About Award to Compliance Professionals
An article in Law 360 titled Big Awards Pushing Compliance Pros To Be Whistleblowers discusses the impact of the SEC’s award of approximately $1.5M to a compliance officer. The article reports that both defense counsel and whistleblower counsel have seen an uptick in whistleblower complaints brought by internal audit and compliance personnel.
In the article, SEC whistleblower lawyer Jason Zuckerman notes that this substantial award to a compliance officer and prior SEC whistleblower awards to internal audit and accounting personnel show that compliance programs in some companies are ineffective. Zuckerman also discussed the SEC’s application of the rule permitting compliance personnel to qualify for an award if they report internally and wait 120 days before reporting to the SEC:
“The SEC appears to have waived the 120-day requirement because the whistleblower provided information to the SEC that was necessary to prevent imminent misconduct from causing substantial financial harm to the company or investors,” Zuckerman Law principal Jason Zuckerman, who represents whistleblowers. . . However, Zuckerman added that the compliance officer blew the whistle internally first and the company didn’t take corrective action.
. . . But according to Zuckerman, the whistleblower award announced Wednesday as well as prior award announcements demonstrate the need for giving whistleblowers a financial reward for stepping up. He referenced the Aug. 29 award — where the SEC said the company failed to take action after the whistleblower made an internal report — as well as a $400,000 award announced on July 31.
“I think this award to the company is a really good indication of how important the award provision of Dodd-Frank is,” Zuckerman said. “Many corporate compliance programs just don’t work.”
According to the SEC’s press release, the “compliance officer reported misconduct after responsible management at the entity became aware of potentially impending harm to investors and failed to take steps to prevent it.” Similarly, a July 2014 SEC press release announcing a $400,000 award notes that the whistleblower did “everything feasible to correct the issue internally” before turning to the SEC.
SEC Whistleblower Lawyers Representing Compliance Professionals
The experienced whistleblower lawyers at Zuckerman Law have substantial experience representing Compliance Officers, auditors, and compliance personnel. 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 positions at a government agency that protects whistleblowers.
Since 2012, the SEC has issued more than $1.2 billion in awards to whistleblowers, which includes awards to our clients totaling millions of dollars. Our experienced and effective SEC whistleblower attorneys provide critical guidance to whistleblowers throughout the process to protect their identities and increase the likelihood that they not only obtain, but maximize their whistleblower awards.If you have original information that you would like to report to the SEC Office of the Whistleblower, contact the Director of our SEC Whistleblower Practice at [email protected] or call our leading SEC whistleblower lawyers at (202) 930-5901 or (202) 262-8959. All inquiries are confidential.
SEC Whistleblower Protections for Compliance Professionals
Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblower Protection for Compliance Professionals at Public Companies
The whistleblower protection provision of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act provides robust protection to corporate whistleblowers, including compliance professionals. See our guide Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblower Protection: Robust Protection for Corporate Whistleblowers. The guide summarizes SOX whistleblower protections and offers concrete tips for corporate whistleblowers based on lessons learned during years of litigating SOX whistleblower cases.
The goal of the guide is to arm corporate whistleblowers with the knowledge to effectively combat whistleblower retaliation, avoid the pitfalls that can weaken a SOX whistleblower case, and formulate an effective strategy to obtain the maximum recovery.
SEC Whistleblower Rewards for Compliance Professionals