On February 8, 2024, the US Supreme Court issued a unanimous opinion in Murray v. UBS Securities, LLC, No. 22-660 (U.S. 2024) restoring a $900K jury verdict in favor of a whistleblower under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) related to publicly-traded businesses and their financial reporting.
Category: Financial Industry
- 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,
Congress Fixes Major Hole in Treasury’s Nascent Whistleblower Program While Expanding its Scope to Sanctions Evaders
- 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,
It’s not always sunny for everyone on the Florida beaches. On January 30, 2023, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida announced that Al Clint LaRoche of West Palm Beach pleaded guilty to two counts of bank fraud involving more than $1 million from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan program.
- Stock promoters have moved from boiler rooms and stock newsletters to social media services.
- The COVID-19 pandemic and the “meme stock” mania that accompanied it brought an influx of retail traders to public markets.
- Those retail investors have proven to be prime fodder for social media stock promoters.
Takeaway: Misconduct in the multitrillion dollar derivatives market can lead to massive recoveries for the government and whistleblowers alike. Even when the CFTC is already on the case, a whistleblower who tips off the government during an ongoing investigation may remain eligible for an award if they provide original information that “substantially contributes” to a successful enforcement action.
- October 15, 2021
- Financial Industry
Takeaway: The H.I.G. case will no doubt embolden the Department of Justice and whistleblowers going forward. Now DOJ and relators have a strong summary judgment opinion to ground liability in future cases and several sizeable recoveries against PE firms to use as comparators for settlement purposes. With a more rigorous regulatory environment under the Biden administration,
2020 False Claims Act Recoveries: $2.2 Billion in Recoveries and Over $309M in Awards to Whistleblowers
- Over $300 million awarded to whistleblowers.
- Dip in recoveries reflects pandemic and economic challenges.
- Number of FCA filings hits a record.
- Healthcare continues to dominate FCA recoveries with kickbacks a major focus.
- Rebound in recoveries is likely as defendants regain financial footing.
On April 16, 2020, the Honorable William M. McSwain, United
States Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, issued a sweeping
request for help in identifying companies and individuals who seek to “exploit
the devastating effects of the coronavirus pandemic for their own benefit.” The
Philadelphia United States Attorney’s Office has a long history fighting fraud.
This is the second part of a two-part article.
In the first of this two-part series, we discussed the success of the United States’ federal False Claims Act (FCA), the rise of international whistleblowers through a study of the Michael Epp case,