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New York, NY (March 26, 2019) – The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced awards totaling $50 million to “two whistleblowers whose high-quality information assisted the agency in bringing a successful enforcement action.” Labaton Sucharow LLP represented one of the SEC whistleblowers, who will receive $13 million for reporting a tip to the Commission that led to a massive enforcement action charging J.P. Morgan Securities LLC (JPMS) and JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A. (JPMCB) with securities violations for failing to disclose conflicts of interest to clients.
Jordan A. Thomas, chair of Labaton Sucharow’s Whistleblower Representation Practice, served as counsel to the whistleblower, a J.P. Morgan executive, who cooperated in the agency’s investigation. The case, in which JPMS and JPMCB agreed to pay $267 million to settle the charges in December 2015, is one of the largest enforcement actions initiated by an SEC whistleblower since the SEC Whistleblower Program was enacted.
“Blowing the whistle is rarely easy, and it certainly hasn’t been for my client, but this historic SEC whistleblower award and related enforcement action reaffirms that doing the right thing pays,” said Mr. Thomas. “Thanks to the SEC Whistleblower Program, today corporate whistleblowers know that the Commission has their back and blowing the whistle anonymously dramatically increases the probability of a happy ending.”
The landmark enforcement action brought in 2015 as a result of the whistleblowers’ tips charged J.P. Morgan with a preference to invest clients in the firm’s own proprietary investment products without properly disclosing the practice, which compromised two pillars of money management—asset allocation and the selection of fund managers—and deprived the bank’s clients of critical information to make fully informed investment decisions.
A principal architect of the SEC Whistleblower Program, Thomas established Labaton Sucharow’s whistleblower practice in 2011. Both a pioneer and recognized leader in the field, the Labaton team today combines more than 100 years of enforcement experience with more former federal securities prosecutors than any other SEC whistleblower practice in the world. Their cases have led to groundbreaking recoveries and decisions, including representation of: whistleblowers receiving the largest SEC Whistleblower Award ($83 million) to-date; the largest ever tax whistleblower recovery in New York history; the first officer of a public company to receive an award; the first whistleblower to receive criminal immunity; and a case that led to the first prosecution of company for retaliating against a whistleblower.