Audit/Compliance Professional Receives $300,000 Whistleblower Award
The SEC awarded $300,000 to an audit and compliance professional for a whistleblower claim. According to the SEC, the whistleblower reported wrongdoing to the company and then went to the SEC after the company failed to take action during the required 120-day period that followed. Sean McKessy, Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower, said, “Individuals who perform internal audit, compliance, and legal functions for companies are on the front lines in the battle against fraud and corruption. They often are privy to the very kinds of specific, timely, and credible information that can prevent an imminent fraud or stop an ongoing one.”
OUR TAKE: If firms fear that internal compliance, audit and legal personnel have an incentive to become SEC whistleblowers, will firms be less likely to share information or even retain internal staff? If the SEC wants compliance personnel to serve as government informants over their employers, can they have a long-term future in any organization?