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SEC Issues $4.1 Million Award to Overseas Whistleblower

On December 5, 2017, the SEC announced a whistleblower award of more than $4.1 million to an overseas former company insider.  The SEC declined to disclose the identity of the whistleblower or the company at issue.

The order noted that the tipster voluntarily reported original information that prompted an SEC investigation which uncovered an extensive securities law violation spanning multiple years.  In determining the award amount, the SEC also took into account that the individual provided continued assistance and information to the Commission throughout its investigation.

Although the SEC reduced the whistleblower’s bounty award due to “unreasonable delay in reporting the misconduct,” the reduction was tempered by the presence of two mitigating factors.  First, the SEC’s whistleblower award program had not yet been established when the delay occurred.  And second, the SEC acknowledged that the whistleblower likely could not assert a retaliation claim because the whistleblower is a foreign national working beyond United States borders.  See Liu v. Siemens A.G., No. 13-cv-4385, 2014 WL 3953672 (2d Cir. Aug. 14, 2014) (holding that Dodd-Frank’s anti-retaliation provisions do not apply extraterritorially).

In the SEC’s press release, Jane Norberg, Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower, stated the case demonstrated “[t]he breadth of the SEC’s whistleblower program.”  The award was the third among over $20 million issued to whistleblowers within the last week.  On November 30th, the SEC awarded two whistleblowers over $16 million.

© 2019 Proskauer Rose LLP.

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About this Author

Lloyd B Chinn, Financial, Whistleblower Attorney, Proskauer Law Firm
Partner

Lloyd B. Chinn is a Partner in the Labor & Employment Law Department and co-head of the Whistleblowing & Retaliation Group. He litigates employment disputes of all types before federal and state courts, arbitration tribunals (e.g., FINRA, JAMS and AAA), and before administrative agencies in New York and across the country. Lloyd's practice ranges from litigating compensation disputes to defending whistleblower, discrimination and sexual harassment claims. Although he represents employers in a wide range of industries, including law, insurance, health care, consulting, media,...

212-969-3341
Harris M Mufson, Class/Collective Action Attorney, Proskauer
Senior Counsel

Harris Mufson is a senior associate in the Labor & Employment Law Department and a member of the Employment Litigation & Arbitration and Whistleblowing & Retaliation Groups.

Adept at counseling clients at every turn of the litigation process, Harris represents employers in a variety of industries, including financial services, health care, entertainment, sports and legal, with respect to a wide range of labor and employment law matters. These include compensation disputes, employment discrimination and retaliation, whistleblowing, sexual harassment, wrongful discharge, defamation, breach of contract, non-competition agreements and wage-and-hour issues. He regularly appears in state and federal courts, as well as in proceedings before the American Arbitration Association, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, JAMS, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and other federal and state agencies.

212-969-3794