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 issuer disclosure, asset management, and market structure issues.” (Speech, p. 8.)
Mr. Donohue’s keynote address follows on the heels of recent testimony by SEC Chair Mary Jo White in which, like Mr. Donohue, she identified financial reporting and issuer disclosure as areas that the SEC is focusing on. Ms. White also listed the following additional areas of interest during her testimony:
- Investment management
- High frequency trading
- The operation of trading platforms such as dark pools
- Manipulative trading
- Misusing confidential customer trading information
- Market access
- Technology controls, and
- Net capital violations
In prior posts, I have discussed other kinds of frauds and violations that the SEC investigates, including:
- Accounting frauds
- Books and Records violations
- Financial Statement frauds
- Initial Public Offering frauds (IPOs)
- FCPA violations (bribery or improper payments made to foreign officials)
- Money Laundering
- Violation of anti-money laundering laws and rules
- Deceptive practices in buying or selling stocks
- Municipal Securities frauds
- and more
Potential SEC whistleblowers might also be interested to know that during her testimony Ms. White praised the SEC Whistleblower Award Program as having had a “transformative impact” on SEC enforcement. I covered Ms. White’s testimony in more detail in posts on June 22 and June 15.
Ms. White’s testimony about the value of SEC whistleblowers seems to comport with a study conducted by the Social Science Research Network (SSRN). Among other things, the study found that from 1978 - 2012, “we estimate whistleblowers enabled regulators to successfully obtain additional judgments of $20.75 to $21.27 billion more than would have been obtained without their assistance.” You can find out more about the SSRN study by clicking here.
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About the Pickholz Law Offices LLC
The Pickholz Law Offices LLC is a law firm that focuses on representing clients involved with investigations conducted by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, FINRA, and other securities regulators.
The Pickholz Law Offices has represented employees, officers, and others in SEC whistleblower cases involving financial institutions and public companies listed in the Fortune Top 10, Top 20, Top 50, Top 100, Top 500, and the Forbes Global 2000. We were the first law firm ever to win an SEC whistleblower award for a client on appeal to the full Commission in Washington. Inside Counsel magazine named this achievement one of the five key events of the SEC whistleblower program. Examples of the Firm’s SEC whistleblower cases are available here.
In addition to representing SEC whistleblowers, since 1995 the Firm’s founder, Jason R. Pickholz, has also represented many clients in securities enforcement investigations conducted by the SEC, FINRA, the U.S. Department of Justice and US Attorney’s Offices, State authorities, and more. Examples of some of the many securities enforcement cases that Mr. Pickholz has been involved with are available here.
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If you would like to speak with a securities lawyer or SEC whistleblower attorney, please feel free to call Jason R. Pickholz at 347-746-1222.
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