As reported by Law.com (subscription), the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has given a $450,000 whistleblower award to a worker who had compliance-related job functions at an undisclosed company. This is the third time in eight years that an award has gone to an individual with compliance or internal audit duties at a company found to be engaged in fraud.
Jane Norberg, chief of the agency’s Office of the Whistleblower, said in a statement that compliance professionals are allowed to receive such awards “to ensure that important information about securities laws violations is reported to the SEC when appropriate corrective action is not taken by the company.”
The whistleblower “made reasonable efforts to work within the company’s compliance structure, suffered unique hardships as a result, and reported to the commission after the requisite time period had passed” she said.
Obtaining Recoveries for Whistleblowers and Upholding the Public Trust
Lieff Cabraser represents whistleblowers in a wide range of False Claims Act cases, including medicare and healthcare fraud, defense contractor fraud, securities and financial fraud, and many other false claims.
Under the financial reform legislation enacted in 2010, known as the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, whistleblowers who provide the Securities and Exchange Commission or the Commodity Futures Trading Commission with information about a violation of federal securities laws may be entitled to a reward if the government acts on that information. The recovery in this type of whistleblower case can be from 10 to 30 percent of the amount the government collects.
More broadly, the False Claims Act prohibits people and companies from defrauding the federal government by knowingly presenting, or causing to be presented, a false claim for payment or approval. The act is designed to prevent losses to the federal government. Violations of the False Claims Act can result in judgment in an amount equal to three times the amount of losses the U.S. Treasury sustained, plus civil fines.
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If you know of or suspect a fraud being perpetrated by a financial institution or fraud against the federal government, we welcome the opportunity to discuss the matter with you. There is no fee or obligation for our review of your potential case, and all information you provide will be held in the strictest confidence.