Whistleblowers


Whistle question

Five pieces of advice for potential whistleblowers

2021-08-05T15:56:00+01:00By

Thinking of becoming a whistleblower? The path ahead likely won’t be easy. Learn from others that have been through the process.

Business agreement

Seven things whistleblowers want compliance officers to know

2021-08-04T17:54:00+01:00By

Aaron Nicodemus explains what whistleblowers, their supporters, and advocates would like compliance officers who handle internal complaints to understand about the process from their side of the table.

Whistleblower

SEC to revisit Trump-era whistleblower changes

2021-08-03T17:30:00+01:00By

The Securities and Exchange Commission will review two Trump-era changes to the agency’s whistleblower program, with an eye toward encouraging individuals to report wrongdoing.

Whistleblower Day

Three ideas to improve the whistleblowing process

2021-07-30T13:00:00+01:00By

It’s important to take stock of how far whistleblowing has advanced over the last few years. That said, there is still room for improvement. Aaron Nicodemus offers three suggestions.

Jeffrey Smith

Part 5: Waiting for payout a grueling test of tenacity for whistleblowers

2021-07-30T13:00:00+01:00By

The road to a payout for whistleblowers is long, lonely, and full of obstacles. Commitment to the idea that they are doing the right thing helped our whistleblower subjects endure years of hardship to bring their cases to conclusion.

Andrew Russo

Part 4: Retaliation pervades while whistleblowers persevere

2021-07-29T13:00:00+01:00By

Retaliation for blowing the whistle comes in all kinds of forms. Our whistleblower subjects share their stories—from losing jobs to getting blacklisted to being the target of a newspaper hit piece.

Dee Dee Stone

Part 3: Blowing the whistle weighs uncertainty against moral duty

2021-07-28T13:00:00+01:00By

Once someone decides to blow the whistle, their life is forever changed. Their action stands to benefit many people they don’t even know while putting much in jeopardy on a personal level. Our whistleblower subjects each explain what led them to their determinations.

Whistleblowers

Proposed bill seeks to broaden False Claims Act whistleblower protections

2021-07-27T16:12:00+01:00By

A bipartisan bill before Congress proposes tweaking the False Claims Act to extend anti-retaliation protections for whistleblowers who are not formally employed by the company or organization on which they blew the whistle.

Brendan Delaney

Part 2: Internal reporting sends whistleblowers down path alone

2021-07-27T13:00:00+01:00By

Almost no one becomes a whistleblower by choice. A slow and steady whittling down of options often leads individuals to isolation in coming to their decision. Our whistleblower subjects share the roadblocks they faced in reporting internally.

Aaron Westrick

Part 1: Finding the fraud launches whistleblowers on life-changing journey

2021-07-26T13:00:00+01:00By

Whistleblowers aren’t born—they’re made. For five individuals that have taken on that mantle, the story began with discovering a problem that could no longer be ignored.

Whistle - dark

CW whistleblower series: ‘Witness to Wrongdoing’

2021-07-21T13:00:00+01:00By

This in-depth CW series chronicles the timeline of a whistleblower—from identifying wrongdoing to reporting and enduring subsequent hardships. Exclusive interviews impart key lessons for compliance officers seeking to become an ally to these individuals.

AdobeStock_314226034

Five steps to elevate your average compliance program

2021-07-12T16:38:00+01:00By Joe Murphy, CW guest columnist

Why settle for an average compliance program when you can have so much more? It isn’t easy, but commitment to a handful of key requirements can push your program to the next level.

Whistle

New bill saves CFTC whistleblower program, but for how long?

2021-07-09T14:23:00+01:00By

A measure to save the whistleblower program at the CFTC was signed into law by President Joe Biden, providing enough funding to keep the program running through October 2022. What lies beyond the bill’s support?

WhistleblowerEmployee

Guggenheim Securities fined $209K for allegedly stifling whistleblowers

2021-06-23T19:15:00+01:00By

New York-based broker-dealer Guggenheim Securities has agreed to pay a $208,912 civil penalty for violating SEC whistleblower protection rules regarding language in its compliance manual.

Priority list

What might an overhauled PCAOB look to accomplish?

2021-06-08T16:23:00+01:00By

With no requirements for the PCAOB to feature a certain number of members from each political party, the SEC has the chance to staff the organization with a decidedly Democratic majority. What might such a Board set out to change?

FinCEN Files

‘FinCEN Files’ source sentenced to 6 months in prison for disclosing SARs

2021-06-04T15:37:00+01:00By

Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards, a former senior advisor at FinCEN who provided 2,100 SARs to BuzzFeed News that would form the basis of 2020’s “FinCEN Files” investigation, was sentenced to six months in prison.

CFTC

Senate steps in to save CFTC’s whistleblower program

2021-06-02T18:29:00+01:00By

In an attempt to save the whistleblower program at the CFTC, the Senate approved a bill to create a separate fund to pay whistleblowers rather than having the office draw on penalties levied against wrongdoers.

Jane Norberg

Former SEC whistleblower head Jane Norberg joins Arnold & Porter

2021-05-24T18:44:00+01:00By

Jane Norberg, former head of the whistleblower office at the Securities and Exchange Commission, has joined D.C. law firm Arnold & Porter as a partner.

VW Drive Bigger

Chapter 5: Volkswagen’s path to winning back trust

2021-05-20T13:00:00+01:00By

Its monitorship now complete, Volkswagen’s new focus is to rebuild its reputation among its customer base. It’s a long process, says Board Member Hiltrud Werner, one supported by a shift in strategy.

SEC

SEC tops $900M in whistleblower awards with $28M payout

2021-05-19T18:31:00+01:00By

The SEC has surpassed $900 million in whistleblower awards with a $28 million payout announced Wednesday. The award is said to be related to a Panasonic FCPA settlement from 2018.

WhistleblowerEmployee

SEC awards $31M to whistleblowers between 2 separate cases

2021-05-17T20:20:00+01:00By

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced more than $31 million in whistleblower awards related to two orders, with the largest share of $27 million split between two claimants in one case.

WhistleblowerReward

SEC awards $22M to two whistleblowers in contentious case

2021-05-11T16:43:00+01:00By

Two whistleblowers sought to undermine each other in vying for the majority of a $22 million award issued by the SEC regarding malfeasance reported at a financial services firm.

Whistleblower vector

EU Whistleblowing Directive a ‘potential minefield’ for compliance

2021-05-10T15:57:00+01:00By

An EU directive designed to harmonize whistleblower protections could produce complexity as lawyers warn there are likely to be wide variations in the level of security each country’s national law will offer.

Whistle

CFTC ends whistleblower award drought with $3M payout

2021-04-26T12:21:00+01:00By

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission awarded approximately $3 million to a whistleblower in its first announced payout since September 2020.

Coronavirus domino effect

Study: How compliance managed COVID’s effects on incident reports

2021-04-20T19:21:00+01:00By

The coronavirus pandemic dramatically altered incident reports and investigations in 2020. Despite facing unprecedented challenges, as analyzed in NAVEX Global’s latest benchmark study, compliance officers met the moment.

Nailedit1200x800

Video: Kudos to whistleblower chief Jane Norberg on successful SEC tenure

2021-04-15T18:03:00+01:00By Compliance Week

Aaron Nicodemus applauds outgoing SEC whistleblower chief Jane Norberg for “revolutionizing” the program and the agency, while Kyle Brasseur laments Facebook’s ethical bungling of its recent data leak.

Whistle

SEC awards $50M to two whistleblowers in second-largest payout

2021-04-15T16:02:00+01:00By

A pair of tipsters were awarded over $50 million by the SEC in the agency’s second-largest payout under its successful whistleblower program.

Jane Norberg

SEC whistleblower head Jane Norberg to depart

2021-04-08T20:44:00+01:00By

The head of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s whistleblower program, Jane Norberg, will leave her post later this month.

woods

In the battle over whistleblowers, money matters

2021-03-26T16:47:00+00:00By

Is there competition among international regulators with courting whistleblowers? If so, writes Martin Woods, the path to victory is obvious: monetary incentives.

Nailedit1200x800

Video: Meghan Markle, Burger King, and lessons in reputation management

2021-03-11T22:08:00+00:00By Compliance Week

Aly McDevitt examines Meghan Markle’s tell-all interview with Oprah through the scope of a whistleblower and highlights Burger King’s International Women’s Day Twitter fail as a lesson for companies in assessing social media reputation risks.

Whistleblower

SEC issues first-ever whistleblower award pegged to DOJ settlement

2021-02-23T18:25:00+00:00By

For the first time, the SEC has made an award to a whistleblower who provided information that led to a related settlement by another agency—in this case, the Department of Justice.

Whistle

OSHA will handle antitrust, AML retaliation claims from whistleblowers

2021-02-22T19:57:00+00:00By

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration will oversee worker retaliation claims for two new categories of whistleblowers—antitrust and anti-money laundering.

Gavel

National Holdings nears settlement with former chief compliance officer

2021-02-16T18:46:00+00:00By

National Holdings has reached a proposed settlement in a lawsuit filed by a former chief compliance officer who alleged she was fired for investigating insider trading by the brokerage firm’s executives, although the firm denies the allegations.

SECcrop

SEC: GPB Capital operated ‘Ponzi-like’ scheme, retaliated against whistleblower

2021-02-04T18:37:00+00:00By

GPB Capital Holdings allegedly defrauded more than 17,000 retail investors in a Ponzi-like scheme, then attempted to impede an employee from blowing the whistle on the illegal practices, according to the SEC.

Whistle

SEC sets whistleblower annual award record ($176M) four months into fiscal year

2021-01-14T19:46:00+00:00By

The Securities and Exchange Commission has announced over $176 million in whistleblower awards in the first four months of the current fiscal year, already more than any other year in its history.

woods

We’ve been failing at AML efforts, but new U.S. rules offer hope

2020-12-22T18:02:00+00:00By

If we fail to improve our collective AML efforts, specialized law firms will offer an inviting incentive to those who blow the whistle on our continued failings, writes Martin Woods.

Whistle

Audit whistleblower receives $300K in rare SEC award

2020-12-15T16:40:00+00:00By

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced the award of $300,000 to a whistleblower with audit-related responsibilities, a rarity for the program.

Congress

Congress passes defense bill with big ramifications for AML, whistleblowers

2020-12-11T22:01:00+00:00By

Congress’ defense spending bill approved Friday includes amendments that could dramatically alter the fight against money laundering, in addition to a new BSA whistleblower program with some kinks to be worked out.

Nailedit1200x800

Video: Compliance pros, cons included in Congress defense spending bill

2020-12-10T18:45:00+00:00By Compliance Week

Beneficial ownership provisions contained in Congress’ defense spending bill should go a long way in the fight against money laundering, but holes in the bill’s proposed whistleblower program are open for criticism, says Aaron Nicodemus.

Whistleblowers

Congress approves enhanced protections for antitrust whistleblowers

2020-12-09T20:07:00+00:00By

After four tries, Congress has finally passed a bill prohibiting employers from retaliating against whistleblowers who report violations of antitrust laws to the Department of Justice.

Lefort_opinion

Ten things I’d like to see happen in 2021 (2020 in review)

2020-12-09T14:20:00+00:00By

Many of the things I’d like to see in 2021 are directly related to regulatory changes we anticipate are coming under a Biden administration, but they’re mixed with a few lessons from the pandemic we hope carry into a post-COVID world.

WhistleblowerEmployee

Companies should create ‘Ombuds’ function to meet EU whistleblower rules

2020-12-08T17:55:00+00:00By Cédric Dubar, CW guest columnist

The creation of an independent, competent “Ombuds” function could be used by companies to respond to certain key requirements in the EU’s Whistleblower Protection Directive.

VWcrop

Five compliance triumphs from 2020

2020-12-07T13:11:00+00:00By

CW reveals its list of five compliance wins from the year, including Samsung for its honesty, Volkswagen for successfully wrapping up its monitorship, 3M for stellar ethics, and more.

SEC

SEC enforcement priorities under Biden: Reading the tea leaves

2020-11-13T18:19:00+00:00By

Careful consideration as to what new tone, direction, and priorities the SEC’s Division of Enforcement will take under Joe Biden can help you reduce compliance risk.

Whistleblower FY2021

FY record already in sight as SEC issues $28M whistleblower award

2020-11-03T19:42:00+00:00By

A $28 million whistleblower award announced Tuesday is the latest in an unprecedented stretch that has the SEC within reach of surpassing the record award total set in fiscal year 2020 just five weeks into FY2021.

Reject claim

SEC excludes 2 from share of $10M whistleblower award

2020-10-29T20:33:00+00:00By

The SEC announced the award of more than $10 million to a whistleblower whose “substantial” assistance throughout the course of an investigation was the sole driver behind a successful enforcement action.

Whistleblower

SEC doubles previous record with $114M whistleblower award

2020-10-22T20:01:00+01:00By

A $114 million whistleblower payout announced Thursday is the highest ever awarded by the Securities and Exchange Commission, more than doubling the previous $50 million record set in June.

Trump vs. Biden

What would a Democratic regulatory agenda look like under Biden?

2020-10-20T17:00:00+01:00By

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is no lock to win the presidency on Nov. 3. But it’s worth examining what compliance-related regulatory policies he’d support if he wins.

Nailedit1200x800

Wells Fargo gives us another reason to doubt their culture comeback

2020-10-16T15:41:00+01:00By

While Wells Fargo ends up with yet another “Failed It” this week, we salute the principled Deutsche Bank whistleblower whose refusal to accept “dirty money” cost him everything.

Medical devices

Merit Medical fined $18M after ignoring CCO’s kickback warnings

2020-10-15T16:34:00+01:00By

The former chief compliance officer for Merit Medical Systems will be paid $2.65 million for his role in uncovering a six-year kickback scheme that paid hospitals and doctors to purchase company products.