$14 Million Whistleblower Award w/o Details
Posted by Larry Doyle on October 2, 2013 7:23 AM |
What state mottoes do you like most?
I am personally partial to New Hampshire’s “Live Free or Die” but in light of the opacity displayed across Wall Street and Washington over the last 4 to 5 years, I have a growing appreciation for Missouri as the “Show Me” state:
A name attributed to Representative Willard Van Diver. It connotes a certain self-deprecating stubbornness and devotion to simple common sense.
How about that? Common sense? What a novel concept in light of recent events in our nation and certainly applicable for my blog.
But I think about Missouri this morning given breaking news out of the SEC regarding its first meaningful whistleblower award in perhaps the last 25 years and its largest award ever. Isn’t this the type of thing to highlight and promote?
Bloomberg provides a cursory review of this payout in writing:
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission awarded more than $14 million to a whistle-blower whose tip allowed regulators to recover investor funds through an enforcement case, the agency said in a statement today.
The award is the largest ever made by the SEC, which was given authority in the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial regulation law to reward people who come forward and provide original information that leads to successful enforcement actions. The agency can issue awards that are between 10 and 30 percent of the money collected from the wrongdoer.
“Our whistle-blower program already has had a big impact on our investigations by providing us with high quality, meaningful tips” SEC Chairman Mary Jo White said in a statement. “We hope an award like this encourages more individuals with information to come forward.”
The SEC’s announcement didn’t name the whistle-blower or the case that resulted from the tip.
So let’s see here, a whistleblower receives a $14 million award that represents between 10 and 30 percent of the money collected from the wrong doer. Simple mental math indicates the fraud involved in this case ran between $46.67 and $140 million dollars. Not exactly a small Mom and Pop criminal undertaking.
But while I can understand a whistleblower wanting to remain anonymous, how is it that more details are not provided regarding the true nature of this case including the name of the institution or business involved and other related details? As we know all too well, information is everything. We learned far more about a $31 million whistleblower award paid to courageous Citigroup employee Sherry Hunt stemming from a suit she brought against the bank that was joined by the Department of Justice.
I am not going so far as to state that this $14 million award did not happen, but in the spirit of our friends and followers from the great state of Missouri, I am just stating, “Show Me.”
I think all those who care about meaningful transparency and integrity in our markets would also like to be shown as many details as possible behind this award.
Please pre-order a copy of my book, In Bed with Wall Street: The Conspiracy Crippling Our Global Economy, that will be published by Palgrave Macmillan on January 7, 2014.
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I have no business interest with any entity referenced in this commentary. The opinions expressed are my own. I am a proponent of real transparency within our markets so that investor confidence and investor protection can be achieved.