Blowing the whistle on wrongdoings in the financial world is something only a small fraction of people in the industry do. Even those who come across wrongdoing and are appalled may not come forward and say something. Fear could be a major factor. Financial reward can do a lot to motivate someone to do the right thing and come forward.
A whistleblower whose name is being withheld has recently been awarded the second largest payment in SEC and securities law history. The whistleblower received an astounding $17 million reward.
The legal firm Labaton Sucharow represented the client through the various necessary steps. The firm focuses exclusively in SEC whistleblowing cases. Only a few details about the award and the client are being released. This is surely being done to protect the privacy of all parties involved.
Several lessons can be learned through the brief details of the events discussed in a PR Newswire release.
Jordan A. Thomas, the chairman of the firm, pointed out that the practice’s client was willing to take a step forward and reveal information while others were scared to do so. The revealed information helped investors out tremendously since their financial health was at risk. Mismanaged assets do not aid investors.
Thomas’ highlighting the willingness of the person to come forward and make a difference. Had this individual not taken such a bold step, the problems going on in the financial world would have continued. Things could have gotten dramatically worse had the SEC not been notified.
A little background about the current state of whistleblowing is necessary so people understand the protections in place. After the 2008 economic crisis, the legislation dubbed the “Dodd-Frank Bill” was signed into law with the intention of overhauling the financial system. The items in the legislation included protections for whistleblowing and rewards.
Returning to Thomas and his commentary, it is best to seek out qualified legal representation when looking to reveal wrongdoings. With the right SEC whistleblower attorney, another layer of protection is available. In many ways, the attorney does a lot of the work and makes the process very easy for the whistleblower.