Friday, September 29, 2023

Whistleblower gets $279 million reward for telling on employer - HRD America

Record amount jangles nerves at big corporates

“Since the inception of the SEC Whistleblower Program, the SEC has paid more than $1.3 billion in awards to whistleblowers, including seven awards to our clients,” enthuses one Washington DC law firm’s website. The big statement is meant to attract big revenues from wannabe whistleblowers – and that should worry employers that may have something to hide.

In a groundbreaking development, a historic whistleblower award of US$279 million has been granted by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) under its cash-for-tips program. This colossal sum stems from a significant bribery case involving the telecommunications giant Ericsson.

The award was directly linked to Ericsson's $1.1-billion settlement reached in 2019 with U.S. authorities, following allegations of the company's involvement in illegal payments to secure business in five countries. These actions violated U.S. antibribery laws, as stated by sources knowledgeable about the matter.

To maintain confidentiality and adhere to whistleblower protection regulations, the SEC refrained from disclosing the enforcement action or the identity of the whistleblower responsible for the revelation.

Ericsson's path to this substantial penalty has been marked by a series of missteps over the last 4 years. In March, the company acknowledged its guilt and agreed to pay an additional fine of approximately $207 million. This settlement aimed to address allegations that it had breached...

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