September 17, 2018

New Regulations Should Encourage and Reward Whistleblowers

PHILADELPHIA – Gary L. Azorsky, co-chair of Cohen Milstein’s Whistleblower and False Claims Act practice group, submitted today a comment letter on the group’s behalf to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regarding proposed amendments to its regulations governing its whistleblower program.

Cohen Milstein supports a number of aspects of the proposed regulations that would further the goal of expanding the scope of the SEC Whistleblower Program, including those that would broaden the definition of an “action” that may qualify for a whistleblower award, as well as those that would provide for larger awards in cases where whistleblowers would otherwise receive awards of $2 million or less. 

“The SEC’s Whistleblower Program is a critical tool in its efforts to regulate the nation’s capital markets,” said Gary L. Azorsky. “We wholeheartedly support improvements to the program that expand its reach and increase the incentives for individuals to report wrongdoing. We oppose those that run counter to those goals.”

Cohen Milstein opposes proposed regulations that would decrease the amount paid to whistleblowers in the largest cases. Because this change would decrease the incentives for individuals to come forward with information of fraud in precisely those cases where harm to investors and the financial markets are the greatest, the firm urges the SEC not to adopt this proposed regulation. 

A copy of the letter can be found here. The SEC’s proposed regulations can be found here.

Cohen Milstein’s Whistleblower and False Claims Act practice group has decades of combined experience successfully pursuing whistleblower cases under the federal and state false claims act statutes across industries, as well as pursuing claims under the SEC, IRS, and CFTC whistleblower programs.  The firm represented one of the two whistleblowers in United States of America et al., ex rel. Lauren Kieff, v. Wyeth, No.1:03-CV-12366-DPW [D.Mass.], which resulted in a $784.6 million settlement – one of the ten largest False Claims Act recoveries on record.

About Cohen Milstein

Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC is recognized as one of the premier law firms in the country handling major, complex plaintiff-side litigation. With more than 90 attorneys, Cohen Milstein has offices in Washington, D.C., Chicago, Ill., New York, N.Y., Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., Philadelphia, Pa. and Raleigh, N.C. For additional information, visit www.cohenmilstein.com or call 267.479.5700.