Whistleblowers


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.

Whistle

Increased award volume breathes new life into SEC whistleblower program

2020-10-06T21:03:00+01:00By

The record amount of whistleblower payouts by the SEC in fiscal year 2020 ($175M) happened because the agency made quickening the pace of awards a priority, whistleblower advocates say.

Nailedit1200x800

EY allegedly flubbed Wirecard dealings worse than we thought

2020-10-02T17:05:00+01:00By Compliance Week

In this week’s “Nailed It or Failed It,” we take down EY and JPMorgan Chase for apparently ignoring whistleblowers and give the SEC a nod for rewarding them.

WhistleblowerReward

Banner year for whistleblowers: SEC issued $175M in awards in FY2020

2020-09-30T17:56:00+01:00By

It’s no wonder the SEC recently issued new rules asserting its right to limit large whistleblower awards, because the agency handed them out in fiscal year 2020 at an unprecedented pace.

100

Whistleblower awarded $1.7M in SEC’s 100th individual payout

2020-09-29T17:30:00+01:00By

The Securities and Exchange Commission issued its 100th individual whistleblower award Monday when a tipster received $1.8 million for providing the agency with information that alerted staff to ongoing securities violations.

Whistle

Internal whistleblower exposes fraud at Illinois engine manufacturer

2020-09-25T18:40:00+01:00By

An internal whistleblower exposed a scheme by three executives of a Chicago-area engine manufacturer to improperly inflate revenue and cover their tracks by lying to company accountants and independent counsel.

SEC

Whistleblower advocates up in arms over changes to SEC program

2020-09-23T20:54:00+01:00By

More than two years after proposing them, the Securities and Exchange Commission approved a series of controversial amendments to its whistleblower program designed to make the issuance of awards more streamlined and efficient.

Magic pipe

Chapter 3: Carnival’s history as serial polluter catches up to it

2020-09-15T13:00:00+01:00By

This installment looks back at Carnival’s history of environmental law convictions, plea agreements with the DOJ, criminal fines, and environmental compliance plans (yes, there is more than one).

Whistleblower

SEC continues torrid whistleblower pace with $10M award

2020-09-14T16:37:00+01:00By

More than a quarter of the SEC’s 94 whistleblower payouts since 2012 have come this fiscal year, the latest a more than $10 million award announced Monday.

Nailedit1200x800

Credit to JPMorgan Chase in this week’s banking-themed naughty/nice list

2020-09-10T21:14:00+01:00By Compliance Week

JPMorgan Chase, Danske Bank, Deutsche Bank, and Bank of America all either “Nailed It” or “Failed It” this week.

AIG

AIG whistleblower claims in lawsuit he was fired for uncovering fraud

2020-09-08T16:32:00+01:00By

A former attorney for AIG has alleged in a federal whistleblower lawsuit that he was fired after he complained about fraudulent activity related to an attempt to spin off a separate legal services company.

WhistleblowerEmployee

SEC issues two whistleblower awards, cancels meeting on program changes

2020-09-01T16:55:00+01:00By

The SEC has announced nearly $4 million in whistleblower awards this week, though changes to agency’s tipster program set to be discussed Wednesday will once again hit the back burner.

carreyroubrockmeyer_128979

Q&A with Kara Brockmeyer: How pandemic has impacted third-party risk

2020-08-31T15:18:00+01:00By

In advance of her keynote at Compliance Week’s upcoming TPRM virtual event (Sept. 17-18), former SEC official Kara Brockmeyer discussed with CW the heightened risk third parties have during a pandemic and what companies can do about it.

WhistleblowerReward

SEC to consider limiting large whistleblower awards, weakening retaliation rule

2020-08-28T18:24:00+01:00By

The SEC had scheduled a Sept. 2 vote on controversial changes to its whistleblower program that, if passed, could weaken the agency’s prohibition of retaliation against whistleblowers and limit large rewards. The meeting has been canceled.

Whistleblower

Mass. pharma company will pay $20.75M to settle FCA lawsuit

2020-08-25T16:50:00+01:00By

A Massachusetts-based pharmaceutical company will pay $20.75 million settle a whistleblower’s allegations that the company knowingly promoted misleading instructions for a skin lesion drug that caused doctors to submit false claims to Medicare.

woods

Wells Fargo must do more than pay to redeem fake account scandal

2020-08-14T18:09:00+01:00By

Wells Fargo is now operating under a different regime, but what have the billions of dollars the bank has spent in attending to the compliance failures that arose out of its fake account scandal delivered? Not enough, posits Martin Woods.

Nailedit1200x800

McDonald’s handling of ex-CEO scandal gets compliments, criticism

2020-08-13T14:37:00+01:00By Compliance Week

A fresh podcast from the Theranos whistleblower and a new compliance association for Black practitioners get a round of applause from us this week, while a complicated case involving McDonald’s lands the company on both the “Nailed It” and “Failed It” lists.

McDonald's

McDonald’s whistleblower leads to lawsuit against fired CEO

2020-08-10T17:50:00+01:00By

An anonymous whistleblower’s complaint alleging sexual misconduct by fired McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook prompted the company to file a lawsuit attempting to claw back some of the $41 million severance package it paid upon his ouster.

WhistleblowerEmployee

Sen. Grassley to propose whistleblower-friendly FCA amendments

2020-08-03T15:49:00+01:00By

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is working on legislation that would amend the False Claims Act in a way he says would strengthen the law’s core purpose of helping whistleblowers shine the light on wrongdoing and fraud.

Whistleblower

CFTC awards $9M to whistleblower

2020-07-28T14:58:00+01:00By

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission awarded $9 million to a whistleblower whose “specific, credible, and timely tip’ led to a successful enforcement action. The payout is one of the five largest awarded by the regulator since 2014.

WhistleblowerReward

Medical device maker projects $18M to settle FCA violations alleged by former CCO

2020-07-20T16:02:00+01:00By

Evidence of kickbacks and bribes brought to light by a whistleblower and former chief compliance officer has led Merit Medical Systems to reach an estimated $18 million agreement in principle with the DOJ to settle False Claims Act allegations.

SEC

SEC continues whistleblower payout surge with $3.8M award

2020-07-15T13:44:00+01:00By

The Securities and Exchange Commission has paid out approximately $119 million to 20 whistleblowers in the past 10 months, a trend the agency continued with the latest announcement of a $3.8 million award.

JusticeDepartment

Universal Health Services settles FCA allegations for $122M

2020-07-13T16:53:00+01:00By

Whistleblowers will receive a $16.7 million payday as part of a $122 million settlement between the Department of Justice and Universal Health Services.

Andy Hinton

CCO Hinton leaves Google to advise whistleblower startup

2020-07-10T16:14:00+01:00By

Andy Hinton told CNBC he left his longtime position as vice president and chief compliance officer at Google in March as he looks toward a new role advising a startup that offers a whistleblower app.

Pharmaceuticals

Novartis’ latest settlements: $729M in kickback charges

2020-07-02T16:36:00+01:00By

A week after resolving FCPA investigations for $347 million, Swiss pharmaceutical drug maker Novartis will pay another $729 million in separate settlements related to kickback schemes.

US whistleblower

Dems propose coronavirus whistleblower protection bill

2020-06-16T16:07:00+01:00By

A group of prominent Democratic legislators has proposed a whistleblower protection bill designed to help uncover fraud and waste in the trillions of dollars worth of coronavirus-relief funds allocated by Congress.

WhistleblowerEmployee

CFTC awards more than $6M to whistleblower

2020-06-09T18:00:00+01:00By

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission announced a whistleblower award of more than $6 million to a tipster who voluntarily provided original information that led the CFTC to bring a successful enforcement action.

Whistleblower

SEC announces record whistleblower award of nearly $50M

2020-06-04T17:42:00+01:00By

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced its largest ever whistleblower award to a single individual at nearly $50 million while denying a second claimant a share of the bounty.

DangledCarrot

Analysis: When a bonus becomes less incentive, and more compromise

2020-06-02T16:17:00+01:00By

Financial crime expert Martin Woods explores what happens when the annual bonus causes employees to disregard their values for want of a dollar.

VWcrop

Analysis: VW ‘deliberately immoral’ ruling pushes governance lessons

2020-05-29T18:13:00+01:00By

A look at a recent court case against car manufacturer Volkswagen once again places the company in the spotlight but, perhaps more importantly, offers some lessons in how to live up to shareholder expectations of good governance that protects their investment.

Notebooks

Why a ‘don’t put that into writing’ request should raise a red flag

2020-05-27T15:00:00+01:00By

The next time someone tells you not to take notes during a meeting, think about why they’re making that request. It’s almost never a good idea to agree to it, writes financial crime expert Martin Woods.

power_anderson

Coronavirus has made CW2020 a (virtual) gathering like no other

2020-05-15T14:58:00+01:00By

The coronavirus pandemic has made getting together for our annual National Conference impossible, but it’s also made this virtual gathering (Monday and Tuesday) perhaps the most important one we’ve ever had.

RBS

SEC, DOJ ordered to review RBS whistleblower’s claim on $4.9B settlement

2020-05-13T18:26:00+01:00By

A federal appeals court ordered two federal agencies to review the whistleblower claims of a former Royal Bank of Scotland employee who is seeking a slice of a nearly $5 billion settlement.

columnist icons - kyle

VP’s abrupt exit paints Amazon as coronavirus villain

2020-05-06T17:14:00+01:00By

Saying there is “evidence of a vein of toxicity” running through Amazon’s company culture, a now-former VP is the most prominent voice to speak out against the tech behemoth’s actions during the coronavirus pandemic.

Protect whistleblowers

Whistleblowers have never been more important … or more targeted

2020-05-04T13:47:00+01:00By

If there’s anything to be learned from recent examples, it’s that whistleblowers do more than anyone to speak truth to power. That’s why it’s so important they are both listened to and properly protected and rewarded.

WhistleblowerReward

Compliance personnel face risks and rewards as SEC whistleblowers

2020-04-30T15:17:00+01:00By Erika A. Kelton, Compliance Week Guest Columnist

These best practices will guide compliance practitioners turned whistleblower through the process of reporting wrongdoing while protecting themselves from harm.

luckin

Analysis: Luckin Coffee saga a case of déjà vu?

2020-04-29T18:42:00+01:00By

Financial crime expert Martin Woods ponders how the SEC can ensure foreign companies, like China-based Luckin Coffee, that publicly trade in the U.S. can apply the proper standards of compliance, financial reporting, and even whistleblower protections.

WhistleblowerReward

SEC hands out second top-10 whistleblower award this month

2020-04-28T19:42:00+01:00By

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced the award of $18 million to a whistleblower, continuing a two-month surge in payouts by the agency that has now seen two of its largest bounties to date.

Hotline

Best practices for maintaining a healthy incident-response program

2020-04-28T15:18:00+01:00By

NAVEX Global’s annual “Risk & Compliance Hotline Benchmark Report” provides chief ethics and compliance officers with best practices on how the performance of their hotline and incident-management programs stack up against their peers.

Mergerscrop

Analysis: EY now faces questions of trust

2020-04-22T17:51:00+01:00By

In the case of Amjad Rihan versus EY, a question of trust has opened a can of worms. Financial crime expert Martin Woods explores.

EY

Analysis: EY brand takes beating in case vs. whistleblower

2020-04-21T15:41:00+01:00By

What does the Amjad Rihan case do to the brand of EY and, more pointedly, those who spend time with EY as clients? Financial crime expert Martin Woods offers his take.

Whistleblower

Terminated whistleblower receives $5M SEC award

2020-04-21T15:24:00+01:00By

A whistleblower terminated by his or her company soon after raising concerns internally about discovered misconduct was the recipient of a $5 million SEC payout—the seventh by the agency in the last month.

EY

U.K. court orders EY to pay $11M to whistleblower, a former partner

2020-04-17T18:57:00+01:00By

A former EY partner who blew the whistle on a massive money laundering scheme was awarded nearly $11 million by a U.K. judge, settling a lawsuit in which he claimed EY buried an audit that uncovered wrongdoing by a client.

WhistleblowerEmployee

SEC awards whistleblower sixth-largest payment ever: $27 million

2020-04-16T17:26:00+01:00By

A whistleblower has been awarded $27 million by the Securities and Exchange Commission, the largest award this year and the sixth-largest payout ever.