Wall Street Journal Releases SEC Whistleblower FOIA Results

The Wall Street Journal recently published an article analyzing the results of its federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request concerning information received by the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission whistle-blower program, which was expanded in 2011. It contains interesting information for whistle-blowers and corporate compliance and fraud specialists.

Particularly interesting is the delineation of whiste-blowers who filed reports—from retirees to an agronomist to two people who listed their occupation as “ex-wife,” along with a significant number of senior executives and board members. The number of reports filed by service industry personnel also suggest that discussing confidential information in bars, restaurants, hotels and taxis is a bad idea.

A key element of any anti-fraud program is a hotline for reporting of potential incidents, accompanied by strong senior management and board support of such a program, including strong protections against retaliation. The absence of such a program—or an ineffective program not driven by “tone at the top” or fair investigations—could drive whistle-blowers straight to the government, leaving companies without a chance to correct issues on their own.

Click here for more information about fraud hotlines.

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BKD Forensics – who has written posts on BKD Forensics.


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