Katz Banks Kumin is proud to represent employees who speak up about fraud, abuse, or other illegalities at their workplace. Whistleblowers are the "eyes and ears" of the public and play a vital role in reporting unlawful conduct. Objecting to or reporting fraud to shareholders, harm to patients, and abusive practices by pharmaceuticals, financial service companies, and other corporations serves the public interest and should not lead to career damage and job loss.
Following is a list of recent whistleblower awards granted by the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Commodity Futures Financial Trading Commission, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and other federal and state whistleblower programs, as well as notable court decisions.
|SEC Awards Approximately $3 Million to Two Whistleblowers||The SEC announced an aggregate award of approximately $3 million to two whistleblowers whose information and assistance led to a successful SEC enforcement action. The SEC has now awarded $932 million to over 172 whistleblowers who have notified the agency to securities violations and fraud.||Find the SEC Press Release here.|
|SEC Awards over $50 Million to Joint Whistleblowers||The SEC granted the second largest award ever in the program's history to two whistleblowers who reported complex financial violations that would have been difficult to uncover without their assistance.||Find the SEC Press Release here.|
|SEC Clears $900 Million in Whistleblower Awards||The SEC announced that it had awarded $28 million to a whistleblower whose reporting led the SEC and another agency to open an investigation into fraud committed by a company. The SEC has now awarded $901 million to over 160 whistleblowers who have notified the agency to securities violations and fraud.||Find news coverage here.|
|SEC Announces $27 Million Whistleblower Award||The SEC announced a $27 million whistleblower award to an individual who provided crucial information to the agency about misconduct, some of which occurred overseas. It is the largest award so far in 2020, and sixth largest in SEC history.||Find the SEC Press Release here|
|SEC Awards $22 Million to Pair of Whistleblowers||The SEC granted $18 million to the whistleblower whose information initiated the investigation, and $4 million to the whistleblower who supplied additional information after the investigation was underway.||Find the SEC Press Release here.|
|SEC Awards $4.5 Million to Whistleblower Who Previosuly Reported Internally, a First for the SEC Whistleblower Program||
The SEC awarded more than $4.5 million to a whistleblower who first submitted an anonymous tip to his company, before submitting the same information to the SEC within 120 days. The company opened an internal investigation and self-reported the allegations of misconduct to the SEC, which then opened its own investigation. Eventually the company's results were reported to the SEC, who took the appropriate enforcement actions. This is the first whistleblower award granted under the internal reporting provision of the whistleblower program.
|Find the SEC Press Release here.|
|Five Individuals Awarded Nearly $3 Million||As part of three separate enforcement actions, five whistleblowers who provided information that would have been difficult to gather, absent a tip, were awarded nearly $3 million, combined.||Find the SEC Press Release here.|
|Medical Whistleblower wins $4.5 Million in Arbitration||Whistleblower James Robillard was awarded $4.5 million by an arbitrator after he was fired for reporting misdeeds by a heart surgeon.||Find news coverage here.|
|SEC Whistleblower with Audit Responsibilities Awarded over $300,000||An anonymous whistleblower was awarded over $300,000 by the SEC for their high-quality, consistent, and relevant information throughout the investigation. The whistleblower became aware of securities violations through their audit-related responsibilities.||Find the SEC Press Release here.|
|SEC Whistleblower Receives $3.8 Million Award||A whistleblower who assisted the SEC in bringing down and active fraud scheme received a $3.8 million award.||Find news coverage here.|
|Whistleblower Earns $2 Million Award for "Extraordinary" Assistance||The SEC awarded approximately $2 million to a whistleblower who provided crucial information to the SEC that, otherwise, the agency likely would not have discovered. The whistleblower did so despite incredible retaliation - including threats and other obstacles.||Read news coverage here, and the SEC Press Release here.|
|SEC Awards Two Insider Whistleblowers Nearly $30 Million||The SEC awarded $22 million to an insider whistleblower whose tip opened an investigation into the wrongdoing, and $7 million to a different insider whistleblower who provided additional valuable information.||Read the press release here.|
|Company Outsider Earns $1.8 Million Award||The SEC awarded $1.8 million to a company outsider who provided critical information to the agency regarding ongoing securities law violations||Read news coverage here.|
|Outsider Whistleblower Wins $2 Million Award from CFTC||A whistleblower outside of a company received over an award of over $2 million for information provided through an independent analysis. This is noteworthy because it incentivizes independent experts to come forward with potential violations.||Find the CFTC Press Release here, and news coverage here.|
|Cybersecurity Whistleblower Earns Award for Raising Concerns about Surveillance-Tech||A software security engineer for Cisco Systems will receive a sizable recovery for his role in alerting authorities to a flaw in video surveillance gear that the company was selling to government agencies. To resolve the allegations of violating the False Claims Act, Cisco will pay $8.6 million to the federal government and 15 states - the whistleblower is set to receive 20% of the recovery.||Read news coverage here.|
|Whistleblower with Compliance Related Responsibilities Earns $450,000 SEC Whistleblower Award||The SEC awarded $450,000 to a whistleblower who helped provide information to focus an investigation on violations that were later charged. The whistleblower had compliance responsibilities, but was eligible for an award because the whistleblower first reported the violations internally, and then waited 120 days before reporting to the SEC.||Read the SEC Press Release here.|
|Oversees Whistleblower Awarded Almost $4 Million||An oversees whistleblower, whose assistance resulted in a successful enforcement action, was awarded almost $4 million by the SEC. This marks the third time in four years that an oversees whistleblower has been granted a significant award.||Find the SEC Press Release here, and news coverage here.|
|Merril Lynch Insiders to Receive Largest SEC Awards Ever||Two Merrill Lynch insiders will split a $50 million award, and a third will receive $33 million - the biggest payout ever. The whistleblowers reportedly helped aid the agency in its case against Bank of America Corp.||Find the SEC Press Release here, and news coverage here.|
|CFTC Whistleblower Receives $2.5 Million Award Despite Delayed Reporting||A whistleblower to the CFTC received a $2.5 million award for assisting at "every step of the investigation." Yet the agency announced that the award was reduced due to the whistleblower's delay in raising the violations to the CFTC, hence emphasizing the importance of timely reporting.||Find the CFTC Press Release here.|
|"Safe Harbor" Whistleblower Receives $2.2 Million||
The SEC announced a $2.2 million award to a "former company insider" turned whistleblower. The whistleblower is the first to receive an award under the "safe harbor" statute of Dodd-Frank, which allows for a whistleblower to be eligible for an award if he redirects his tip from whichever federal authority to the SEC within 120 days.
|Find the SEC Press Release here, and news coverage here.|
|CFTC Awards Largest Ever Award to ISDAFIX Whistleblower||The CFTC will award a record $45 million to a single anonymous whistleblower for his assistance in investigating the widespread illegal manipulation of the ISDAFIX, which is an important price-setting mechanism used in the private derivatives market.||Find news coverage here.|
JPMorgan Chase & Co.
U.S. futures regulators awarded a record $30 million whistleblower award as part of a case against banking giant, JP Morgan Chase. The bank agreed in December 2015 to pay a record $367 million asset-management settlement with the CFTC and SEC for failing to inform wealthy clients of conflicts of interest.
In a preliminary decision in July 2017, the SEC awarded one whistleblower $48 million, and another $13 million. And in February of 2018, the CFTC added another $30 million whistleblower award.
In March, 2019, the SEC agreed to pay the whistleblowers $50 million.
|Whistleblower Receives $1.5 Million Award||An SEC whistleblower received a $1.5 million award for providing information and assistance to the commission during an investigation. The award, however, was reduced due to the fact that the whistleblower waited to report the misconduct, and made money during the delay.||Find the SEC Press Release here.|
|Whistleblower who Uncovered Illegal Loan Scheme Awarded nearly $2.4 Million||Federal Officials announced an award of almost $2.4 million for a whistleblower who helped reveal that a mortgage company was engaging in writing deficient loans that were insured by the federal government.||Find the press release here, and news coverage here.|
Foreign Whistleblower Awarded $4.1 Million Whistleblower Tip
The SEC announced this past December a $4.1 million whistleblower award for notifying the SEC to a long-running securities fraud committed by his employer, and continuing to provide important information throughout the investigation.
The whistleblower is a non-U.S. national working oversees. This is not the first instance of the SEC awarding a non-U.S. national, but it is significant nonetheless.
Wells Fargo Whistleblower Receives $5.4 Million
Wells Fargo must pay a former manager $5.4 million, and give him his job back, said a federal regulator in April. The former manager was fired in 2010 after reporting to his supervisors and the bank’s ethics hotline what he believed to be fraudulent behavior.
OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, said that this amount covers back pay, compensatory damages, and legal fees.
Medical Whistleblower Receives $25 Million in Whistleblower Retaliation, Wrongful Termination Suit
A former regional sales manager at Cardiovascular Systems was awarded $25.1 million by a jury in the Superior Court of California for the County of Los Angeles. The plaintiff, Steven Babyak, was fired in June 2015 after raising concerns over issues relating to patient safety and violations of state and federal law.
Find more information here.
|Railroad Whistleblower has $1.25 Million Award Upheld||
Michael Elliot, a 16 year veteran locomotive engineer, was fired after reporting complaints to his employer and the Federal Railroad Administration that overgrown vegetation had the potential to cause catastrophic signal malfunctions.
In 2015, a federal jury in Tacoma awarded Mr. Elliot $1.25 million for retaliation and termination. In March of 2018, a three-member panel from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the verdict.
|Find more information here.|
|Florida Doctor Awarded $2.85 Million in Whistleblower Retaliation, Wrongful Termination Suit||
A Florida doctor won a $2.85 million whistleblower lawsuit against Florida Hospital. The jury found that Dr. Ahmad Chaudhry was terminated for raising concerns about dangerous practices by the former director of the heart and lung transplant insitute, which resulted in an abnormally high death rate.
|Find more information here.|
|Whistleblower Receives $2.1 Million Award||A whistleblower was awarded $2.1 million from the SEC for providing information that directly led to "multiple successful enforcement actions."||Find the SEC Press Release here.|
|Maritime Whistleblower's $1.1 Million Award Upheld||A former ship captain who was fired after reporting safety violations on his ship was awarded a $1.1 million award following a 2015 trial. The Administrative Review Board in the Department of Labor has affirmed the award.||Find more information here.|
|Foreign Whistleblower awarded $70,000 by CFTC||The Commodity Futures Trading Commission awarded $70,000 to a whistleblower who aided in an investigation into violations of the Commodity Exchange Act. This is the first award granted by the CFTC to a whistleblower living outside the United States.||
Find the CFTC Press Release here.
If you believe your employer has unjustly retaliated against you for blowing the whistle, you should contact an attorney to get an assessment of your case. Actions, such as demotions or removing duties or withholding benefits, may be prohibited by laws that protect workers from retaliation.
Learn the essential facts about whistleblowing so that you know your rights, including what type of reports could lead to significant financial awards.