A client of Labaton Sucharow recently received the second highest award ever given by the SEC under their whistleblower program. The Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, is an agency within the Federal Government that regulates and proposes laws and rules regarding the nation’s security industry, including electronic securities, stocks, and bonds. A security is a financial instrument of either a debt or an equity that denotes ownership of a publicly traded asset or item of monetary value such as gold or other natural resources.
Labaton Sucharow is the first law practice of its kind who solely represents whistleblowers involved in exposing wrongdoing related to the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm guarantees confidentiality for whistleblowers to protect them from retaliation by their employers. Labaton Sucharow has a team of financial experts, accountants, attorneys, and investigators with experience in law enforcement in order to provide their clients with the very best representation.
The SEC whistleblower program began six years ago under the Dodd-Frank Act, an extensive piece of legislation overseeing a tremendous overhaul to the United States financial system. The program put in place protections for whistleblowers as well incentives for reporting the breaking of federal law. Whistleblowers are offered a reward from between ten to thirty percent of all monies collected in successful litigation.
$17 million was awarded to the Labaton Sucharow client who exposed gross violations to federal law. The individual had provided information which led to sanctions on a large financial institution. The SEC does not disclose whether whistleblowers had a hand in providing key testimony in any particular case so that whistleblowers’ identity will not be inadvertently revealed. This protects them from losing their jobs or from being blacklisted.
Jordan A. Thomas, lawyer for SEC whistleblowers and Chair of Labaton Sucharow, expressed pride over the win and said that it takes a great deal of courage for whistleblowers to report violations while others are content to maintain the status quo. He said that because his client came forward, it would prevent further harm from being done to investors.
Mr. Thomas predicted that in the coming years more cases will come the courts that were introduced by whistleblowers. He added that many of these will be some of SEC’s, “largest and most significant cases”. Mr. Thomas represented the first case in which an employer was charged with retaliating against an employee, and he won a case on behalf of a first officer who later also was awarded monetarily by the SEC.