The Securities and Exchange Commission today issued a $3 million whistleblower award to two international whistleblowers represented by Phillips & Cohen LLP.
At the same time, the SEC announced it was issuing an award for a joint whistleblower submission made by three others in the same case, for a total of $6 million awarded to five whistleblowers who played important roles in the case.
Phillips & Cohen’s clients provided SEC staff with “key documents that led the staff to seek additional documents from the respondent, which formed the core of the Commission’s case,” the SEC said.
The whistleblowers “also provided ongoing assistance to the staff as the investigation progressed, providing documents and information to assist the staff’s understanding of the respondent’s business practices,” according to the SEC whistleblower award order.
“My clients played a key role in a successful SEC enforcement action despite the risks it posed to their livelihoods,” said Erika Kelton, a partner and attorney at Phillips & Cohen LLP. “They are pleased that their efforts helped stop the improper conduct they witnessed.”
Phillips & Cohen has won 13 SEC and CFTC whistleblower awards for clients under programs established by the Dodd-Frank Act, including SEC whistleblower awards for $37 million in February and $32 million in 2014. Those awards apparently are the largest made so far to international whistleblowers.
The SEC whistleblower program offers rewards, confidentiality and protection from job retaliation. Whistleblower rewards are made in cases where monetary sanctions exceed $1 million. They range from 10% to 30% of the amount the government collects, based on certain factors, such as the value of the whistleblower’s information and the assistance the whistleblowers and their attorneys provide in enforcement actions.
The SEC does not reveal whistleblowers’ identities with very limited exceptions. Phillips & Cohen’s clients who were awarded $3 million today have chosen to remain anonymous.
About Phillips & Cohen LLP
Phillips & Cohen represents whistleblowers in SEC whistleblower claims as well as qui tam lawsuits and the whistleblower reward programs of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Internal Revenue Service. Its roster includes the founding Chief of the SEC Office of the Whistleblower as well as former government prosecutors and attorneys with decades of experience representing whistleblowers.