WASHINGTON, DC, November 5, 2015 – The Securities and Exchange Commission has awarded a whistleblower represented by Phillips & Cohen LLP $325,000 for information and assistance that exposed fraudulent activity by an investment firm.
The whistleblower, a former employee of the investment firm, provided the SEC with detailed information about the misconduct. The whistleblower also identified individuals that were behind the wrongdoing.
This is the third time in 14 months that Phillips & Cohen has won an SEC award for a whistleblower client. The SEC has awarded a total of $54 million to 22 whistleblowers. More than half of the total amount has gone to whistleblowers Phillips & Cohen represented.
The SEC said when it announced the award on Wednesday that it could have been higher if the whistleblower had reported the misconduct sooner rather than waiting until the whistleblower left the firm.
Erika A. Kelton, a partner at Phillips & Cohen who represented the whistleblower, disagreed with the SEC’s position.
“Our client waited a reasonable amount of time – just a matter of months – before going to the SEC,” Kelton said. “It’s a big decision for a whistleblower to go to the SEC, even with the confidentiality and job protection the SEC whistleblower program offers, and whistleblowers need time to make that decision.”
Last year, the SEC awarded a Phillips & Cohen client one of the largest SEC whistleblower awards ever made under the Dodd-Frank program: more than $32 million. A second client received in July an SEC award of more than $3 million, which is among the largest SEC whistleblower awards issued.
In all three whistleblower reward cases, Phillips & Cohen’s clients have chosen to remain anonymous to protect their jobs and careers. The SEC doesn’t make public which enforcement actions are based on whistleblower information because that might indirectly reveal a whistleblower’s identity, which is protected under Dodd-Frank.
Note: As of January 2020, Phillips & Cohen has won four SEC whistleblower awards for its clients.