Sean McKessy, the former Chief of the SEC Office of the Whistleblower and partner at Phillips & Cohen, recently contributed to a Washington Post story related to the SEC investigating Apple for its use of nondisclosure agreements. McKessy shared what it means when the Securities and Exchange Commission launches a formal investigation and the power that can bring to the agency to help fight fraud.
Launching formal investigations gives the SEC added power to seek documents and information from companies, according to Sean McKessy, a partner at the Phillips & Cohen law firm who led the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower until 2016.
“When a formal order is issued and a specific investigation is opened … that means that the full powers of the commission are now available for an investigation, which means their subpoena power is included,” he said.
He added that due to the agency’s “sparse” resources, “it’s nearly impossible to think of a scenario where the staff would go to the point of opening up an investigation, [contacting] somebody … unless they were serious about it, unless it was an active investigation.”
Read the entire Washington Post story, “SEC looking into Apple’s use of nondisclosure agreements, whistleblower says.”