3 Years In, SEC Whistleblower Office Earns Name For Itself

August 22, 2014

Jordan A. Thomas believes the recent $14M award shows potential whistleblowers the incentives are real

The award showed not only that the SEC was serious about rewarding tipsters who provide meaningful information but also that the agency wouldn't budge on its promise of anonymity, according to Jordan Thomas, chairman of Labaton Sucharow LLP's whistleblower representation practice.

"Every media organization in the country wanted to know who that person was, and they didn't know," said Thomas, who believes the award boosted awareness of the whistleblower program and gave "greater confidence" to would-be tipsters by showing them the incentives were real.

"Small awards over time can be a deterrent," he added. "If every award is $400,000, that would make people on Wall Street who make that in bonus [money] not want to play. But if the awards are more like the $14 million award, then people are more willing to take risks."

Labaton's whistleblower practice has seen an increase in the number of inquiries and requests for consultations regarding the SEC's program, according to Thomas.

"We're seeing more and more senior people coming in," he said, adding that he expects his practice to continue to grow until the whistleblower program reaches a "saturation of awareness."