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SEC 74 articles

SEC Moves To Cap Whistleblower Awards

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will propose to a rule that would slash awards to whistleblowers in some of the biggest cases of securities-law violations – a move that raises concerns such a rule could weaken incentives for individuals to report fraud and other wrongdoing. Currently, whistleblowers who tip off the SEC to securities violations receive between 10 and 30 percent of the total sanctions levied against the violating firm, as long as the sanctions amount to at least $1 million. The Wall Street Journal notes that the narrow majority of awards doled out under the SEC’s whistleblower program ... Read More

SEC Awards Overseas Whistleblower $4 Million

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said it has paid nearly $4 million to an overseas whistleblower whose “extensive assistance” helped regulators take a successful enforcement action against the offending company. “Whistleblowers, whether they are located in the U.S. or abroad, provide a valuable service to investors and help us stop wrongdoing,” said Jane Norberg, Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower, in a Sept. 24 announcement. “This award recognizes the continued, important assistance provided by the whistleblower throughout the course of the investigation.” September has been an active month for the SEC’s Whistleblower program, which has been ... Read More

SEC Awards 3 Whistleblowers $55.5 Million in Two Separate Cases

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Whistleblower Office recently announced it has paid out more than $55.5 million to three whistleblowers who assisted regulators in stopping violations, fraud, and other misconduct harming investors. On Sept. 6, the SEC said that it had awarded two whistleblowers who assisted regulators in the same case. One whistleblower will receive a $39 million award – the agency’s second-largest payout to date – and the other will receive a $15 million award for providing “critical information and continued assistance” that helped the SEC crack down on the offending company. On Sept. 14, the SEC ... Read More

Another Tesla Whistleblower Files SEC complaint

A second Tesla whistleblower has filed a formal complaint with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), alleging a Mexican drug cartel operated within the automaker’s Nevada Gigafactory, while others stole $37 million in copper and other raw materials. Instead of properly notifying investors and regulators, Tesla CEO Elon Musk responded to the predicaments by illegally wiretapping and hacking employee cell phones and computers, whistleblower Karl Hansen alleges. Mr. Hansen, who worked for Tesla’s internal security department and investigations division, says he voiced his concerns internally, urging Tesla to take proper action in responding to the issues. But instead of ... Read More

Wells Fargo Blames Hundreds of Home Foreclosures on Calculating Error

Wells Fargo said a software glitch in its mortgage loan modification underwriting tool led to hundreds of its customers losing their houses to foreclosure. In its latest quarterly filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Wells Fargo said that the calculation error caused about 625 customers to either be incorrectly denied a government-sponsored mortgage loan modification or not offered a loan modification when they would have qualified. “In approximately 400 of these instances, after the loan modification was denied or the customer was deemed ineligible to be offered a loan modification, a foreclosure was completed,” Wells Fargo said ... Read More

SEC Proposes Changes to its Whistleblower Program

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has proposed a series of changes to its whistleblower program that the agency says will boost the efficiency and overall performance of its informant-driven enforcement actions. The SEC added the proposed amendments to the whistleblower program to the Federal Register July 20. The changes would provide the SEC with additional tools to ensure that whistleblowers are appropriately rewarded for their efforts, the agency said. The SEC also proposed ways to increase efficiency in the whistleblower claims review process and to clarify the requirements for whistleblower anti-retaliation protections. The SEC’s whistleblower program was established by ... Read More

Fyre Festival Founder Settles SEC Fraud Allegations

One of the founders of the disastrous Fyre Festival, which left scores of guests who paid thousands of dollars to attend the much-touted luxury event stranded on a Bahamian island in tents, has agreed to a $27.4 million settlement resolving various fraud allegations with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). According to the SEC, William Z. (Billy) McFarland, two companies he founded, a former senior executive, and a former contractor fraudulently induced more than 100 investors to entrust them with at least $27.4 million to fund a luxurious “once-in-a-lifetime” music event in the Bahamas. Mr. McFarland inflated key operational and ... Read More

SEC Awards ‘Safe Harbor’ Whistleblower $2.2 Million

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has awarded a whistleblower more than $2.2 million for tips that led to a successful enforcement action against a company for violations of securities laws. This latest SEC whistleblower award is unique in that it was the first such award paid under the SEC’s “safe harbor” rule, which accommodates whistleblowers who submit tips and other information to another federal agency before reporting it to the SEC. The “safe harbor” provision of the Exchange Act Rule provides that if a whistleblower submits information to another federal agency and then submits the same information to ... Read More

SEC Whistleblower Gets Agency’s Highest-Ever Award

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced Monday that one whistleblower who helped regulators with their investigations of securities violations will receive the agency’s highest-ever award of more than $33 million. In addition to the latest award, which exceeds the previous high of $30 million awarded to a whistleblower in 2014, the SEC said that two additional whistleblowers will share an award of nearly $50 million. “These awards demonstrate that whistleblowers can provide the SEC with incredibly significant information that enables us to pursue and remedy serious violations that might otherwise go unnoticed,” said Jane Norberg, Chief of the SEC’s ... Read More

Whistleblower Warns Regulators of Stock Market Manipulation

The biggest index used by Wall Street to gauge stock market volatility, known as the Cboe Volatility Index or VIX, is being manipulated, causing wild market swings and costing investors hundreds of millions of dollars a month, an anonymous whistleblower has warned the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The whistleblower, a senior executive who worked at many of the largest investment firms in the world, made the allegations in a letter to the SEC and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) sent by a Washington D.C. law firm. According to USA Today, the whistleblower alleges that the market manipulators are ... Read More