Phillips & Cohen partner Sean McKessy is quoted in CQ Roll Call about how proposed changes to the SEC’s whistleblower program could have a chilling effect on fraud reporting.
“Having been there when they started the program and having built it from the ground up, the purpose of the program is to get people to report wrongdoing,” said Sean McKessy, who served as the first chief of the SEC Whistleblower Office during his five-year tenure at the agency that ended in 2016. “The way to do that is to pay as many people as possible as much money as you can.”
The changes proposed last year, which would allow agency staff more discretion to adjust whistleblower rewards in cases that yield at least $100 million in SEC sanctions, don’t “square with that goal,” McKessy, now a partner at Phillips & Cohen LLP who represents whistleblowers, told CQ Roll Call in an interview.
If approved, the changes would inject uncertainty, “the biggest enemy” of would-be whistleblowers, into an already tense process, McKessy said. “More people are going to have cold feet than under the current rules.”
Read the entire article, “Former SEC whistleblower chief warns of chilling effect of program changes,” on CQ Roll Call’s website (subscription required).