Securities and Exchange Commission Awards $450,000
Compliance Officer Reported Concerns To Employer First
On March 30, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced a $450,000 whistleblower award to a company’s internal compliance officer who provided the SEC with information of his employer’s securities law violations. The officer reported his concerns internally first and then brought the violations to the attentions of the SEC. If you have credible, original information of securities law violations by your employer or former employer or other entity in California call the California SEC whistleblower attorneys at Evans Law Firm, Inc. today at (415)441-8669 and we can help.
Exchange Act Rule 21F-4(b)(4)(iii)(B) generally excludes information from being credited as “original information” if the whistleblower “obtained the information because” the whistleblower was “[a]n employee whose principal duties involve compliance . . .” 17 C.F.R. § 240.21F-4(b)(4)(iii)(B). However, an exception to this rule applies if 120 days lapse since the compliance insider first provides the information to his or her employer. 17 C.F.R. § 240.21F-4(b)(4)(v)(C); Order Determining Whistleblower Award Claim, Rel. No. 34-72947 (Aug. 29, 2014) (individual with compliance responsibilities eligible for award because he internally reported the information 120 days before reporting the information to the SEC).
Compliance Officers Rewarded
“To ensure that important information about securities laws violations is reported to the SEC when appropriate corrective action is not taken by the company, the rules permit awards to compliance professionals in certain limited circumstances,” said Jane Norberg, Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower. “Here, the whistleblower made reasonable efforts to work within the company’s compliance structure, suffered unique hardships as a result, and reported to the Commission after the requisite time period had passed, ultimately providing meaningful assistance to the Commission’s investigation and subsequent enforcement action.” According to Ms. Norberg, the SEC has awarded compliance officers in at least three other reported whistleblower cases.
Ingrid M. Evans and the other whistleblower attorneys at Evans Law Firm know how best to organize your information and documentation and will guide you through investigation, reporting, and discovery to trial or settlement. Federal law protects whistleblowers from employer retaliation for blowing the whistle on securities fraud under the Exchange Act, the Securities Act of 1933, 15 U.S.C. §§ 77a et seq, Rule 10b-5, or any other federal securities law. See 15 U.S.C. § 78u-6(h)(1); 17 CFR § 240.21F-2; Commission Rule 21F-17(a). If your employer retaliates against you in violation of the statute, you can bring an action in federal court seeking reinstatement, double back pay with interest, and attorneys’ fees and costs. 15 U.S.C. § 78u-6(h)(1)(B) and (C). Our litigators can represent you in your action for wrongful retaliation as well as in your underlying SEC whistleblower case.
Our California whistleblower attorneys handle all types of whistleblower cases in addition to SEC cases. If you have information regarding a whistleblower/qui tam case in San Francisco or elsewhere in California involving allegations under the federal or California False Claims Acts, the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989 (FIRREA), the Bank Secrecy Act, the Internal Revenue Service Whistleblower Office, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission Whistleblower Office, the FINRA Whistleblower Office or other government agency whistleblower programs, contact the California whistleblower attorneys at Evans Law Firm at (415) 441-8669, or by email at <a href=”mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org”>email@example.com</a>. Our attorneys also have experience with complex financial contracts and large insurance companies. We can help guide your case through filing a complaint, investigation and discovery through trial or an equitable settlement. We also handle cases involving physical and financial elder abuse, nursing home abuse, whole life insurance and universal life insurance, and indexed, variable, and fixed annuities.