June 1, 2015

Whistleblowers: What Should You Do Now With Your Agreements?

Parsing through the dozens of memos about the SEC’s recent KBR action, law firms seem to vary about what you should be doing now with your agreements. The positions fall into one of these three camps: (a) KBR settlement language is sufficient; (b) KBR settlement language is overly broad; or (c) not sure at all what is sufficient. The SEC’s Enforcement Division seems to still be looking at – and asking – for agreements to review – but I believe that will settle down soon enough. I’ve just calendared a September webcast that includes the SEC’s Chief of the Whistleblower Office Sean McKessy to help us sort through these choices (and more).

Meanwhile, here’s an excerpt from this WSJ article entitled “Whistleblowers Find SEC Rewards Slow and Scarce”:

The SEC program pays out based on sanctions that have been collected, rather than the amounts imposed by a judge that are up to the agency to recover. That can leave whistleblowers with nothing to show for their efforts if the money has vanished in the fraud or if the perpetrator has fled beyond U.S. jurisdiction. So far, more than 10,000 tips have been submitted to the SEC whistleblower program, about 300 people have applied for awards and 17 payouts have been made, according to SEC data. An SEC spokeswoman declined to say how much money has been collected for any of the 658 enforcement actions the agency’s website lists as being potentially eligible for awards. She also declined to say how many, if any, of the pending award claims relate to cases in which no bounty is available, even if the claim is approved.

Montana Joins Massachusetts in Regulation A+ Challenge

As I added late to last week’s blog, Montana has joined Massachusetts in suing the SEC over Regulation A+. Here’s the Montana scheduling order – the Montana & Massachusetts cases have been consolidated by the US Court of Appeals for DC…

Tomorrow’s Webcast: “Escheatment Soup to Nuts: Handling Unclaimed Property Audits & More”

Even though contingent fee audits in the escheatment area have been around for some years now, companies continue to be shocked when they find themselves subject to one. Tune in tomorrow for the webcast – “Escheatment Soup to Nuts: Handling Unclaimed Property Audits & More” – to hear Reed Smith’s Diane Green-Kelly, Keane’s Valerie Jundt and Exelon’s Scott Peters cover everything you need to know about escheatment, from the basics to handling the growing number of unclaimed property audits.

Cleary Gottlieb just created this chart with the status of the SEC’s Dodd-Frank rulemakings fyi

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– Broc Romanek