Whistleblower claims can result in complicated compliance problems and serious damage to a company’s reputation and brand. Buckley Sandler counsels and defends businesses and individuals facing these often serious allegations and complex claims. Our team navigates clients through and beyond internal investigations, government enforcement actions, and whistleblower and qui tam actions arising out of the False Claims Act (FCA); Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX); Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act; Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989 (FIRREA); and other whistleblower statutes.
Our attorneys work with clients to draft and implement whistleblower policies and procedures, as well as establish internal reporting mechanisms such as hotlines and ombudsmen. We conduct reviews of existing whistleblower programs and revise existing policies and procedures. In the event a claim should ensue, we assist with internal investigations in response to allegations of wrongdoing, address Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) disclosure issues and render appropriate recommendations for remediation and reporting, as well as counsel clients in connection with retaliation claims.
Our team includes former government prosecutors, SEC attorneys, and seasoned litigation defense counsel. Notably, one of our team members is a 20 year veteran of the SEC and former Chief of the Office of Market Intelligence, who was involved in whistleblower rule writing and the organization and launch of the SEC’s Whistleblower Office called for by Dodd-Frank. Another served as Chief of the Civil Division of the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s Office (Southern District of New York, SDNY), and established and supervised the SDNY’s Civil Frauds Unit, which handles whistleblower investigations and lawsuits under the FCA and FIRREA.
- Led an internal investigation for a publicly traded bank into whistleblower claims of AML non-compliance
- Handled an internal investigation for a publicly traded bank into whistleblower claims of Suspicious Activity Report improprieties
- Directed investigation for a publicly traded mortgage originator into allegations of appraisal fraud
- Led an internal investigation for a publicly traded company into allegations of non-compliance with rules and regulations governing when costs could be sought from the federal government
- Handled a retaliation investigation for a top 10 financial institution relating to numerous allegations of improper mortgage practices
- Successfully represented a top mortgage loan servicer in an FCA qui tam investigation into servicing and loss mitigation activities, in which the government declined to intervene in the case; the district court dismissed the case on motion, and the Sixth Circuit upheld the dismissal
- Successfully represented a national financial services firm in an FCA qui tam investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the SDNY, in which the government declined to intervene in the case and the relator’s case was voluntarily dismissed
Much attention has been focused on the increasing role of whistleblowers in the government’s pursuit of financial fraud. Several federal statutes create bounty programs, allowing whistleblowers who bring fraud to the government’s attention to recover significant sums. The Dodd-Frank Wall Street...Articles
Prolific bank robber Willie Sutton reportedly once said he robbed banks because "that's where the money is." Judging by recent trends, whistleblowers might now give the same reason for filing their financial fraud suits in New York, which has quickly become the venue of choice for financial fraud...Articles
The False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. § 3729, which has been around since the Civil War, permits whistle-blowers with information about fraud perpetrated upon the U.S. government to bring civil fraud suits on behalf of the United States and share in the recovery. While much attention is paid to the...Articles
On February 6, 2017, a federal jury in San Francisco awarded the former general counsel of a life sciences company $10.9 million in a landmark FCPA whistleblower-retaliation case brought under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX), the Dodd-Frank Act, and California state law. After three hours of...InfoBytes
Tom Sporkin Quoted in Wall Street Journal Article, "SEC Says Former Vanguard Lawyer Deserves Whistleblower Protection"
Tom Sporkin was quoted in Sarah Krouse's Wall Street Journal article, "SEC Says Former Vanguard Lawyer Deserves Whistleblower Protection," on March 29, 2016. The Securities and Exchange Commission has intervened in a legal battle between mutual fund giant Vanguard Group and one of the company...In The News
Tom Sporkin was quoted in Jean Eaglesham's Wall Street Journal article, "CFTC Can't Give Whistleblower Money Away," on Monday, February 8, 2016. Setting up programs to encourage whistleblowers was an important component of the regulatory response to the financial crisis. Under the provisions of the...In The News
Tom Sporkin was quoted in Rachel Louise Ensign & Jean Eaglesham's Wall Street Journal article, "SEC Backlog Delays Whistleblower Awards," on Sunday, May 3, 2015. Thomas Sporkin, a former SEC official who helped write the whistleblower rules, said the agency didn’t impose time limits on...In The News
Tom Sporkin Quoted In Bloomberg Article, "Wall Street Moles Go to New York's Top Cop, Spurning SEC Cash"
Tom Sporkin was quoted in Keri Geiger & Sam Mamudi's Bloomberg article "Wall Street Moles Go to New York's Top Cop, Spurning SEC Cash" on October 7, 2014. “The communication is often a one-way street at the SEC,” said Thomas Sporkin, a former SEC enforcement lawyer who helped set up...In The News
Andrew Schilling Quoted in Wall Street Journal Article "Holder Proposes Bigger Rewards for Wall Street Whistleblowers"
Andrew Schilling was quoted in Devlin Barrett's Wall Street Journal article "Holder Proposes Bigger Rewards for Wall Street Whistleblowers" on September 17, 2014. Former Justice Department lawyer Andrew Schilling, now at Buckley Sandler LLP, where he specializes in False Claims Act and Firrea cases...In The News
Tom Sporkin Quoted in Wall Street Journal Article, "Vanguard Case Tests Right of Lawyer Whistleblowers"
Partner Tom Sporkin was quoted in Kirsten Grind and Jean Eaglesham's August 8, 2014 article, "Vanguard Case Tests Rights of Lawyer Whistleblowers," in the Wall Street Journal. Thomas Sporkin, a partner at law firm Buckley Sandler LLP and former head of the SEC's office of market intelligence, said...In The News