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Landmark Lawsuit Filed Against SEC to Protect Future Whistleblowers

The SEC Undermined a Powerful Weapon Against White-Collar Crime

In a profile piece published in Propublica, Whistleblower Practice Chair Jordan A. Thomas talks about his role in developing the SEC Whistleblower Program, the negative impact that the Commission’s new rules will have on whistleblowers and his decision to file a lawsuit to reverse this controversial rulemaking on behalf of his clients.

The story features one of Jordan’s Wall Street clients, a top financial adviser. His anonymous client shares the cost-benefit analysis he went through before reporting and acknowledges the importance of the monetary awards offered by the SEC Whistleblower Program. “I’m not giving up 10 years worth of income to be a good guy,” the adviser said. “I’ve got to weigh the risk against the reward. And the risk is huge.”

On September 23, 2020, in a 3-2 vote, the Commission approved new rules for its whistleblower program. The story notes that a broad coalition opposed the proposed rules on legal and policy grounds.

In explaining his reasons for filing the complaint, Jordan contends that it improperly sandbags people already in the SEC’s whistleblower pipeline. “Courageous whistleblowers have put their careers and lives on the line to assist the Commission—including wearing FBI wires and smuggling key documents out of China. Now, in the middle of the proverbial football game, the Commission has moved the goal posts on literally hundreds of SEC whistleblowers.”

Named one of the top whistleblower practices/attorneys in the country by The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and NPR
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