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Thomas A. Sporkin quoted in Law360 article, “SEC's whistleblower program hits its stride in 2018”


Thomas A. Sporkin

Thomas A. Sporkin was quoted on November 19, 2018 in Law360 article, “SEC's whistleblower program hits its stride in 2018,” which discussed the SEC whistleblower program’s success and the proposed amendments. The article stated, “Since the program began, whistleblowers have helped the SEC secure about $1.7 billion in sanctions, $452 million of which will be returned to harmed investors, according to the report. The SEC handed out its three largest awards this past year, all of which were above $30 million.”

Sporkin noted, “There are a number of additional cases that originated with whistleblowers that have yet to become public because the SEC is still reviewing those award claims. Overall, I think this was a banner year for the office.”

The article also discussed a proposal that includes amendments that would give the SEC more authority when determining awards: “The SEC's attempt to influence award amounts is among the most controversial of the amendments. Currently, the agency pays whistleblowers between 10 and 30 percent of penalties above $1 million. The new proposal would allow the SEC to minimize awards when penalties exceed $100 million, though the awards would not be reduced below $30 million. But other aspects of the proposal have been cheered, including an amendment to permanently bar whistleblowers who repeatedly make frivolous award claims.”

Sporkin added, “Banning these frequent filers could make the claims review process more efficient and eliminate the sometimes yearslong lag between an action and the whistleblower award. I think they did a very good job at identifying modifications to the rules that will greatly improve the process.”

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