SEC Whistleblower Cases

As directed by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, the Securities and Exchange Commission on May 25, 2011 adopted final rules to implement the Dodd-Frank whistleblower program. These rules provide for payments to persons reporting violations of the federal securities laws of up to 30% of the monetary sanctions collected by the SEC from violators of those laws.

As part of the most comprehensive reforms of the federal securities laws since the enactment of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, Dodd-Frank established a whistleblower program that allows payments to individuals who:

  • Voluntarily provide the SEC original information about a violation of the federal securities laws, in writing…
  • That leads to the successful enforcement of a covered judicial or administrative action, or a related action resulting in monetary sanctions exceeding $1 million.

The new SEC whistleblower rules define who is a whistleblower, what type of information qualifies for an award, whether a whistleblower must utilize his or her company's internal compliance system before reporting to the SEC, and the protections afforded whistleblowers under the anti-retaliation provisions of the new rules. The SEC rules also provide that a whistleblower may submit information about a possible securities law violation anonymously but only if done through an attorney.

Pearson, Simon & Warshaw, LLP, Senior Counsel George S. Trevor calls the whistleblower program, "a significant new tool for regulators to uncover securities law violations in the financial markets. With SEC resources strained by the new regulatory requirements imposed by Dodd-Frank and investor confidence in the integrity of the financial markets at a level not seen since the Great Depression, the whistleblower provisions will provide substantial monetary incentives for insiders to report illegal conduct."

At over 300 pages long, the SEC's new whistleblower rules are complex. Persons who believe they have original information about possible violations of the federal securities laws should consult with an attorney to ensure that they act in compliance with the SEC rules and remain eligible for a financial award. Pearson, Simon & Warshaw's, Mr. Trevor notes, "after representing investors in securities litigation for the past 26 years I am hardly surprised by the new rules' complexity. That is why speaking to an attorney before submitting information to the SEC is critical. However, I also want to applaud the SEC for standing firm against Wall Street lobbyists' attempts during the SEC's rule making process to weaken the effectiveness of the new whistleblower rules. This program will help restore investor confidence in the integrity of the United States securities markets."

About Pearson, Simon & Warshaw, LLP

Pearson, Simon & Warshaw, LLP is a nationally recognized firm with offices strategically located in Los Angeles and San Francisco, representing clients throughout California and the United States in both state and federal courts. Pearson, Simon & Warshaw, LLP proven litigators enjoy all types of challenging cases, including class actions, business litigation, insurance law and professional liability claims. Pearson, Simon & Warshaw, LLP has the requisite experience to handle challenging and complex litigation. Pearson, Simon & Warshaw, LLP attorneys have proven time and time again, that they are formidable, focused and thoroughly prepared to take on challenging legal needs.

If you are aware of conduct by a company or person that you believe violates the securities laws, please contact Pearson, Simon & Warshaw, LLP to determine your rights. You may contact Senior Counsel, George S. Trevor, at (415) 433-9000 or gtrevor@pswlaw.com for more information.

Link to SEC's Office of the Whistleblower: http://www.sec.gov/whistleblower

Los Angeles:(818) 788-8300
San Francisco:(415) 433-9000

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