The law firm Lataton Sucharow LLP was the first in the country to focus exclusively on representation of SEC whistleblowers. They recently announced winning an award of over $17 million from the Securities and Exchange Commission for one of their clients.
This represents the 2nd-largest award since the SEC Whistleblower Program was launched in 2010. A 2014 case resulted in over $30 million. This program allows eligible whistleblowers to receive 10% to 30% of the monetary penalties leveled in successful legal action against firms violating SEC regulations.
The SEC does not provide specific case information in order to protect whistleblowers. But it verified that Labaton Scharow’s client provided vital information that led to sanctions against a major player in the financial industry.
Labaton Sucharow also successfully represented the first whistleblower to suffer retaliation from an employer. The New York legal firm is led by SEC Whistleblower lawyer Jordan Thomas, a former Assistant Director with the SEC’s Division of Enforcement.
The Dodd-Frank Act
The Whistleblower program began with the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010, the most comprehensive reform of U.S. financial rules since the days of the Great Depression. Officially the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, it was led by congressmen Barney Frank and Chris Dodd. Among the reforms it called for was the establishment of a whistleblower program that would both protect and provide incentives to employees who report violations of the federal security laws which the SEC oversees.
Under the Whistleblower Program, the SEC is required to pay out these rewards when enforced sanctions exceed $1 million. Whistleblowers may also be eligible for additional awards from monetary sanctions collected by other regulatory or law enforcement agencies. Companies are strictly forbidden to take retaliation against any employee who reports violations. In order to get full anonymity, however, the employee must be represented by an SEC Whistleblower attorney who requests it. There are now a number of attorneys that can guide whistleblowers through the process.
The Whistleblower Program allows individuals to report potential securities or federal tax violations confidentially. The SEC’s budget was raised to $2.5 billion in 2015. Congress has also established an Investor Protection Fund of over $400 million to cover these awards. It’s hoped that this program will inspire more financial sector employees to report illicit activities by offering them protection, anonymity, and sizeable monetary rewards.
A fundraiser to benefit one of New York City’s more neglected populations during the winter months has been started at GoFundMe. The fundraiser is the work of New York City lawyer, Ross Martin Abelow. His goal is to raise $5000 to be given to shelters to help in their efforts to care for the city’s homeless animal population. The money will be used to help the shelters pay for care items including the food, shelter, blankets and medical care needed for the animals brought into the shelters.
The primary end goal is to prevent needless deaths. Abelow hopes that the fundraiser will help the shelters extend more care, for longer periods of time, for any animals that are in need. It is a difficult situation, particularly during the winter months, when the shelters may not have enough resources to address all of the animals in need. With temperatures dropping to dangerous lows, the animals are some of the city’s most vulnerable residents.
In addition to advocating for the city’s animal population, much of Abelow’s law focus is on families. He specializes in Family Law and Matrimonial Law as well as Entertainment Law and Commercial Litigation. He is a longtime resident of New York City and has been licensed to practice law in the state of New York for many years. Abelow earned his law degree from Brooklyn Law School, where he graduated in 1989. He received his license the next year in 1990. The highlight of his career was achieving his partnership in the Abelow and Cassandro, LLP law firm after 26 years of diligently defending his clients.
In addition to his law practice, Ross Martin Abelow is a regular contributor of legal articles to both his own blog and other blogs like Crown Point New York. His personal blog focuses on financial articles in addition the articles about legal matters. Abelow maintains an active presence on other social media venues like Facebook and Mashable as well.
Donors interested in contributing to the winter fundraiser can find additional information at the GoFundMe page. The fundraiser was launched on January 13th, 2016.