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“Ex-SEC official slams proposal to gut awards for gold-star whistleblowers”

Global Investigations Review‘s Just Anti-Corruption quoted comments made by Phillips & Cohen partner Sean McKessy‘s during a webcast presented by Securities Docket in which he expressed his thoughts about the SEC’s proposed amendments to the Dodd-Frank Act’s whistleblower guidelines.

Sean McKessy, the founding chief of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of the Whistleblower, said he is “befuddled” by a proposed amendment to the Dodd-Frank Act that gives greater discretion to commissioners when deciding on the appropriate whistleblower award.

In a Securities Docket webinar on 16 January, McKessy did not hold back on voicing his opinion of the recently proposed change.

“It is injecting a layer of uncertainty into a process that was pretty much clean,” McKessy said. “The programme does not scream for this kind of change and there is no burning [protest] that people are getting paid too much under this programme.”

“The rule would say to those gold-star whistleblowers who bring in the biggest cases, we are going to treat you worse than other whistleblowers because 10% is enough despite all of your risk,” McKessy said.

McKessy added that arguing to the SEC that certain evidence should not be allowed because a whistleblower stole internal documents to prove the reported fraud is also a bad idea.

“The SEC does not care and it will not look kindly upon a company who goes after a whistleblower for leaking documents,” McKessy said.

Read the article, “Ex-SEC official slams proposal to gut awards for gold-star whistleblowers,” in full on Global Investment Review’s website (subscription required).

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