The fact that insider trading is a federal crime does not seem to be doing a lot to dissuade the traders from engaging in the crime. This is perhaps the reason why incentives like awarding whistleblowers are being put in place by SEC. The latest person to be awarded is a client of Labaton Sucharow LLP. The client has been awarded a whooping $17 million for giving information about a planned deal. The award is the second largest that the firm has received since it was set up in 2010.
The program is created such that when a client comes across information and they give it to the law firm, the investigation starts. Most of the times, the bulk of the work that is done by the SEC is trying to recover the money that has been lost. Once the money has been returned, the whistleblower will receive 30 percent of the total sum. This is supposed to encourage whistleblowers to come forward.
The case that was reported involved a large player in the Securities Exchange Market. The person was investigated by the SEC Whistleblower lawyer when the client gave the information they had gathered. The process is handled in a manner that maintains the anonymity of the client to protect them from retribution. When the award is being presented, the details of the particular case are not disclosed either, as this can assist the people figure out who snitched on them and retaliate.
The SEC Whistleblower attorney, who was the representative of the firm at the awards, was happy about the action of their client in reporting the fraud. He praised the efforts of the client in making sure that the matter was reported before huge amounts of money were lost. He expressed optimism that more protective measures would be put in place, allowing more whistleblowers to come forward with information.
The whistleblower is not allowed to attend the ceremony. Despite this step being taken, the firm realized that the accused had retaliated and decided to file a lawsuit against the other party. A fund has been set up by the government to make sure that all whistle blowers are awarded and it is replenished every year.
The act on consumer protection and the Dodd-Frank reform on Wall Street are the two legislations that made the act on whistleblowers possible. Labaton and sucharow was created to deal specifically with insider trading and other SEC irregularities. It is great to see more people stepping up to shed light into shady deals.