Skip to content

Blog

CFTC, IRS, SEC Whistleblower & White Collar Defense Articles

SEC Whistleblower Program Exceeds $100 Million in Awards Granted

The SEC announced yesterday that to date it has given out over $100 million in awards to SEC whistleblowers under its whistleblower award program. This milestone comes just six years after the Dodd-Frank Act created the SEC Whistleblower Award Program, and just five years after the SEC implemented its formal procedures for its whistleblower program. The SEC’s press release quotes SEC Chair Mary Jo White as stating that in the short time of the SEC whistleblower award program’s existence, i... read more

|
SEC Punishes 2nd Company in under a Week for Forcing Employees to Waive their Rights to SEC Whistleblower Awards

Yesterday, the SEC imposed sanctions on Health Net, Inc., for inserting terms into its severance agreements requiring departing employees to waive their rights to receive SEC whistleblower awards. From 2011 - 2013, Health Net made approximately 600 departing employees sign severance agreements that required them to waive “the right to file an application for award for original information submitted pursuant to Section 21F of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.” In addition, the severance ... read more

|
Company Sanctioned for Requiring Employees to Waive their Rights to Receive SEC Whistleblower Awards

Earlier today, the SEC imposed sanctions against a public company for imposing restrictions in its severance agreements that impeded its former employees from reporting potential securities violations to the SEC and forced them to waive their rights to receive SEC whistleblower awards. The current Acting Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower unambiguously declared:  “Companies simply cannot undercut a key tenet of our whistleblower program by requiring employees to forego potentia... read more

|
Company Pays $167.4 Million to Settle SEC Charges for Undisclosed Markups and Misleading Pricing

Potential SEC whistleblowers and new SEC whistleblower attorneys often wonder whether the SEC will be interested in the information that they have.  To give some examples of the kinds of things that the SEC investigates, I have written several posts about some types of cases brought recently by the SEC, and other posts in which I discussed statements made by SEC officials about the kinds of frauds that they are presently investigating. Undisclosed Markups & Misleading Pricing The SEC... read more

|
Company Pays Nearly $15 Million to Settle SEC Charges of FCPA Violations

In prior posts, I have addressed a question raised by many potential SEC whistleblowers and new SEC whistleblower attorneys, namely whether the SEC will be interested in the kind of information that they have. Sometimes the answer may be fairly obvious, such as where the information concerns insider trading or stock market manipulation. Other times it may be a bit more confusing, as with money laundering.  Most people have a general understanding of what “money laundering” means.  What t... read more

|
SEC Chief of Staff Identifies Areas of Heightened Attention

One question that potential SEC whistleblowers often wonder about is whether the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will be interested in the information that they have uncovered. Two days ago, SEC Chief of Staff Andrew J. Donohue gave a keynote address at the InvestoRegulation Conference in London, England, in which he listed some areas that the SEC is interested in.  According to Mr. Donohue, the SEC is presently focusing “heightened attention on gatekeepers, financial reporting and ... read more

|
SEC Set Records for Enforcement Actions, Penalties and Disgorgements in 2015

Last week, SEC Chair Mary Jo White testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.  Several of Ms. White's comments may be of interest to potential SEC whistleblowers. 1.Testimony: SEC Sets Records in 2015 According to Ms. White, “The SEC filed a record 807 enforcement actions in FY 2015 covering a wide range of misconduct, and obtained orders totaling $4.19 billion in disgorgement and penalties, both at record levels.”  (Testimony, p. 5.) Ms. Wh... read more

|
SEC Whistleblower Award Program has had a “Transformative Impact” on Enforcement, SEC Chair Testifies

Yesterday, SEC Chair Mary Jo White testified before the U.S. Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.  During her testimony, Ms. White praised the SEC Whistleblower Award Program.  (See Testimony, p. 6) According to Ms. White, “The number of whistleblower tips received by the Commission has increased each year of the program’s operation.” She further testified that “The SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower is currently tracking h... read more

|
Proposed Act to Impose the "toughest penalties in history for financial fraud..."

In a speech yesterday, U.S. Representative Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, explained some details of his proposed Financial CHOICE Act. As one might expect in an election year, Chairman Hensarling’s announcement has been met with both immediate support and criticism.  One aspect of his proposal is worth mentioning for potential SEC whistleblowers and SEC whistleblower law firms. On page 9 of his prepared remarks for the speech, Chairman Hensarli... read more

|
SEC Charges Firm with Anti-Money Laundering Violations for Failing to file SARs

On Wednesday, the SEC charged a Wall Street brokerage firm with “failing to sufficiently evaluate or monitor customers’ trading for suspicious activity".  The brokerage firm failed to file Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs). According to the SEC’s press release, “While the SEC has charged other firms with anti-money laundering failures … this is the first case against a firm solely for failing to file SARs”. The press release quotes the Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcem... read more

|
Since 2010, Monetary Settlements Imposed by the SEC on Public Companies have Averaged $24 Million

Under the SEC Whistleblower Award Program, if one or more whistleblowers provide information to the SEC that it uses to bring a successful action in which it collects more than $1 million from the wrongdoers, the SEC is required to give the whistleblower(s) a monetary award of between 10% - 30% of the amount of money it collects, assuming all other requirements are met. A recent joint report by the NYU Pollack Center for Law & Business and Cornerstone Research (the “Report”) has found t... read more

|
SEC Actions Against Public Companies on Pace to Rise for Fourth Consecutive Year

In good news for potential SEC whistleblowers, since 2013 the number of SEC Enforcement actions against public companies and their related subsidiaries has been steadily rising. According to a joint report issued two days ago by the NYU Pollack Center for Law & Business and Cornerstone Research (the “Report”), the total number of actions that the SEC brought against public companies and their subsidiaries from 2013-2015 were as follows: 2013: 41 total actions brought 2014: 55 total ac... read more

|
New Securities Crimes 2d Update Released With Expanded Chapter On The SEC Whistleblower Program

Leading legal publisher Thomson Reuters recently released a new update to Securities Crimes 2d, a two-volume book co-authored by Jason Pickholz, the founder of The Pickholz Law Offices.  The new release includes an expanded chapter on the SEC Whistleblower Award Program written by Mr. Pickholz, now covering 74 pages. Mr. Pickholz added Chapter 3, “The SEC Whistleblower Program,” to the book in 2013 to provide a comprehensive resource for SEC whistleblowers and SEC whistleblower lawyers.... read more

|
"Bringing In The Cavalry": Pickholz Quoted in Extensive Article About Whistleblower Client

William Lloyd, a Pickholz Law Offices' client and successful SEC whistleblower, gives an extensive interview about his experiences as an SEC whistleblower, which led to his receiving one of the first SEC whistleblower awards under the Dodd-Frank Act.  Jason Pickholz is quoted several times in the article, starting in the section titled "Bringing in the cavalry". Reality was setting in:  Lloyd’s credibility, and his job, were in peril....  "I need help," he told a lawyer friend at his son... read more

|
Jason Pickholz Elected as a Fellow of The New York Bar Foundation

We proudly announce that Jason Pickholz has been elected as a Fellow of The New York Bar Foundation. Election into membership in the Fellows is evidence of professional distinction recognizing outstanding achievement and dedication to the legal profession and constitutes a professional honor. As a nonprofit, philanthropic organization, The New York Bar Foundation provides grants to further its goals of: promotion and advancing service to the public, improvements in the administ... read more

|
Video Documentary on Pickholz Whistleblower Client

In a new video documentary published on YouTube (May 4, 2015), William Lloyd, a Pickholz Law Offices’ client, talks about his experiences as an SEC whistleblower and his receipt of one of the first SEC whistleblower awards under the Dodd-Frank Act.  Mr. Lloyd mentions his SEC whistleblower attorney, Jason Pickholz, at 2:30 into the video.  You can watch the video by clicking here.... read more

|
New Securities Crimes Update Released

Thomson Reuters has just released a new annual update to Securities Crimes 2d, a two-volume book co-authored by Jason Pickholz. Mr. Pickholz added Chapter 3, “The SEC Whistleblower Program,” to the book in 2013 to provide a comprehensive resource for SEC whistleblower attorneys and SEC whistleblowers in this new and emerging area of law.  The chapter contains knowledge and insights that Mr. Pickholz has gained as one of the first SEC whistleblower attorneys ever to win an SEC whistleblow... read more

|
Study Finds DOJ and SEC Whistleblower Help Leads to $20+ Billion More in Judgments

The Social Science Research Network (SSRN) has released the results of a recent study that investigated the effect that DOJ and SEC whistleblowers had on financial misrepresentation actions over a 35-year period, from 1978-2012.* Notably, the Study found that the assistance of DOJ or SEC whistleblowers results in significantly higher penalties:  “In total, we estimate whistleblowers enabled regulators to successfully obtain additional judgments of $20.75 to $21.27 billion more than would hav... read more

|
8 House Representatives Push for Stronger SEC Whistleblower Protection

On October 27, 2014, eight Members of the U.S. House of Representatives sent a letter to Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairwoman Mary Jo White in support of increased SEC whistleblower protection.  The letter, written on the letterhead of The House Committee on Financial Services, details some of the SEC whistleblower program's successes, including its giving out over $50 million in SEC whistleblower awards since the program began. It then goes on to state that it has come to the... read more

|
SEC Whistleblower Award Program Sees Increased Activity during 2014

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued a press release announcing increased activity in its SEC whistleblower award program during the 2014 fiscal year. The highlights that the SEC reported for 2014 included Nine (9) SEC whistleblowers received SEC whistleblower rewards (disclaimer:  one of those SEC whistleblowers who received an award was a client of the Pickholz Law Offices) The SEC gave out approximately $35 million in SEC whistleblower awards The SEC whist... read more

|
FINRA Arbitration Agreements Cannot Prevent SEC Whistleblowers from Communicating with the SEC

FINRA has issued a Regulatory Notice stating that settlement agreements, discovery stipulations, and other confidentiality agreements made during a FINRA arbitration proceeding cannot “prohibit or restrict a customer or any other person from communicating with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) … regarding a possible securities law violation.” This statement is set forth in FINRA Regulatory Notice 14-40  (October 2014). Notice 14-40 means that companies canno... read more

|
Pickholz teaches course on SEC whistleblowers

On October 3, 2014, Jason Pickholz taught a live webinar on SEC whistleblowers entitled "Incentives and Protections for the Modern Whistleblower".  During the program, Mr. Pickholz offers insights based upon his experience as one of the first SEC whistleblower lawyers to win an SEC whistleblower award for a client, and as the first SEC whistleblower attorney ever to win an appeal of a preliminary determination that had initially denied his client an award.  Drawing upon his personal knowledge ... read more

|
First-of-its-Kind Result: Pickholz convinces SEC to grant whistleblower award despite staff’s preliminary recommendation to deny award

On July 31, 2014, Jason Pickholz became one of the first SEC whistleblower lawyers to win an SEC whistleblower award for a client.  In doing so, he also became the first SEC whistleblower attorney ever to successfully convince the Commission to grant his client an SEC whistleblower reward over an initial recommendation by its Claims Review Staff to deny an award.  You can view a copy of the official SEC whistleblower award by clicking  here. This first-of-its-kind award was named by Inside C... read more

|
Pickholz authors 60+ page chapter on “The SEC Whistleblower Program”

Securities Crimes 2d is a two-volume book published by Thomson Reuters with updates annually.  Chapter 3, titled "The SEC Whistleblower Program," was added to the book in 2013 by Jason Pickholz to provide a comprehensive resource to this new and emerging area of law.  Chapter 3 is a practical guide for SEC whistleblower attorneys and an informational guide for SEC whistleblowers themselves.  The chapter contains personal knowledge and insights that Mr. Pickholz has gained as one of the first ... read more

|
Pickholz co-authors 2-volume book Securities Crimes 2d, published by Thomson Reuters

Jason Pickholz is a co-author of Securities Crimes 2d, a two-volume book published by Thomson Reuters, with updates annually. The book is written as a practical resource for securities lawyers who represent clients before the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and before both the SEC and the U.S. Department of Justice / U.S. Attorney's Offices in parallel investigations and proceedings, as well as at trial.  It also contains useful information for individuals and companies who find ... read more

|
1 2 3 4
Pickholz Law Logo
Jason Pickholz - pickholzlaw.com

The Pickholz Law Offices represents U.S. and international clients in securities and white collar cases. The Firm has helped whistleblowers report frauds to the SEC, CFTC, and IRS, and has defended clients in investigations by the SEC, CFTC, DOJ, FINRA, and other financial and securities enforcement regulators.

The Firm’s founder, Jason Pickholz, is the author of the two-volume book Securities Crimes, has appeared on tv and radio, and has taught continuing legal education courses. A former BigLaw partner, he has been representing clients in financial and securities fraud cases since 1995. In recognition of his many achievements, Mr. Pickholz was elected by his legal peers to be a Fellow of The New York Bar Foundation, an honor limited to just 1% of all attorneys in the New York State Bar Association.

Mr. Pickholz has been counsel in many high-profile cases. He was the first attorney ever to win an SEC whistleblower award on appeal to the Commission, which Inside Counsel magazine called one of the five key events in the history of the SEC whistleblower program. On the defense side, Mr. Pickholz has defended clients in the SEC’s COVID-19 investigations, the CFTC’s cryptocurrency cases, and a former US Senator, among others.

If you want to speak with a CFTC, IRS, or SEC whistleblower lawyer, or with a white collar defense lawyer, you can call the Firm at 347-746-1222.

The above information is not and should not be construed as providing legal advice. It is not and should never be considered as a substitute for consulting with your own lawyer. The use of this web site or this page does not constitute or create any attorney-client, fiduciary, or confidential relationship between The Pickholz Law Offices LLC and anyone using this web site, or anyone else. The information contained on this website is for informational purposes only. The content of this web site may not reflect current developments. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Results of prior cases or matters contained on this web site are not indicative of future results or outcomes, and should not be taken as a prediction, promise, or guarantee of any future result or outcome. No one who accesses this web site should act or refrain from acting based on anything contained on this web site. For additional terms-of-use and conditions governing the use of this web site, please view our full Terms and Conditions.