Do the efforts of American employees who report corporate and governmental fraud sometimes truly pay off for them in meaningful ways?
The Unites States Securities and Exchange Commission is hardly equivocal in its answer to that question.
The SEC commenced a high-profile whistleblower program several years ago. Its 2012 initiative was authored in the wake of a series of large-scale financial scandals that were collectively fleecing the American public on a nearly unimaginable scale. The SEC’s whistleblower platform was ushered in as part of the seminal Dodd-Frank Act crafted in 2010.
Many commentators have queried regarding its utility since inception. Some applaud the reach, applicability and occasionally reported results of the program. Some contend that the proverbial jury is still out concerning its effectiveness. And others flatly deride the effort and argue that its claims to merit are spurious and even largely illusional.
Federal regulators are decidedly not among the naysayers.
In fact, the head of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower recently lauded the program and its deterrent effect on fraud and wrongdoing. In spotlighting a recent case, Jane Norberg noted the agency’s $27 million award to a whistleblower in an overseas misconduct probe.
Norberg underscored special relevance in the outcome, stating that the whistleblower recovery was the sixth largest ever for the program. Moreover, she stressed, the award also pushed total whistleblower recoveries since program inception above $400 million.
It often takes great courage and personal sacrifice for an individual to risk coming forward to report fraudulent and other illegal business activities by an employer or governmental entity. Persons who do so often suffer retaliatory reprisals and outsized challenges to their reputations and career prospects.
Experienced attorneys with a strong record of advocacy on behalf of whistleblowers can help persons reporting malfeasance protect themselves against blowback and take action to secure vitally needed compensation for their efforts.