The economy is global. And so is securities fraud.
In recognition of this reality, the SEC Whistleblower Program extends to possible securities violations that occur anywhere in the world, regardless of a whistleblower’s individual citizenship. While each case is different and jurisdictional issues can be complex, organizations (or individuals) may be subject to SEC jurisdiction if they have investors, investments, operations, employees or clients in the United States. In short, international securities violations and violators may well be enforceable by law enforcement and regulatory authorities in the United States, due to their long extraterritorial jurisdictional reach.
Whistleblowers come from all walks of life and every corner of the globe.
According to the Annual Report of the SEC Whistleblower Program, which collated activity for the 7-week period between the program’s establishment and the close of the agency’s fiscal year, nearly 10% of whistleblower tips came from foreign jurisdictions, including Australia, Canada, China, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Serbia, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom and Uruguay. This is particularly significant given the fact that the program has not been widely advertised or reported on abroad.
In addition to our work representing international clients, we are regularly called upon to advise and comment on corporate integrity, securities enforcement and whistleblower related matters in foreign jurisdictions. By way of example, see our UK Media Roundtable, where we examined parallel regulatory developments and key considerations in the US and ‘across the pond.’