Author: Alexander Owens

The SEC Announces Another Record-Breaking Year for its Massively Successful Whistleblower Program

Key Takeaways

  • Largest year ever for whistleblower awards (nearly $600 million in total)
  • Largest single whistleblower award ever ($279 million to an individual whistleblower)
  • Largest year for whistleblower tip volume (over 18,000 tips submitted to the SEC)
  • The SEC underscores its whistleblower protection efforts through Rule 21F-17 enforcement

On November 14,

Eleventh Circuit Confirms that SEC Whistleblower Award Eligibility is Determined Under an Actual Causation Standard

On August 14, 2023, in a rare whistleblower award opinion, the Eleventh Circuit affirmed the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) denial of a whistleblower award in Granzoti v. Securities and Exchange Commission, 2023 WL 519503 (11th Cir.). The opinion establishes that eligibility for SEC whistleblower awards follows an actual causation standard – i.e.,

Congress Fixes Major Hole in Treasury’s Nascent Whistleblower Program While Expanding its Scope to Sanctions Evaders

Takeaways:

  • The Treasury Whistleblower Program now provides for guaranteed awards of 10% to 30% of the government recovery in covered actions
  • The Treasury Whistleblower Program has been expanded to include not just tips concerning anti-money laundering violations but also those regarding various forms of sanctions evasion
  • The new law goes hand-in-hand with the government’s aggressive crackdown on Russian sanctions evaders and those that assist them

During the holidays,

Do Whistleblowers Have to be American Citizens?

The United States government has four primary whistleblower statutes and reward programs:

  • The Federal False Claims Act (“FCA”)
  • The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) Whistleblower Program
  • The Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) Whistleblower Program
  • The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) Whistleblower Program

All of these whistleblower programs are quite democratic.

Tax Court: IRS Whistleblower Claims Survive Even Death

In Insinga v. Commissioner of Internal Rev. Service, 9011-13W, 2021 WL 4983084 (U.S. Tax Ct. Oct. 27, 2021), the United States Tax Court recently tackled an issue of first impression: whether an IRS whistleblower’s claim may survive death such that the claim may be pursued by his or her estate in the U.S.

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