Whistleblowers


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.

2021

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.

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.