Episode 2: How the SEC Handles Whistleblowers
In this second episode of Quinton Mathews series of interviews exploring the issue of white-collar crime’s effects on markets and society, he sits down with former SEC prosecutor Jordan A. Thomas, now chair of the whistleblower representation practice and one the main architects of the SEC’s whistleblower program. Together they examine how the SEC operates with a specific focus on the whistleblower program, the merits and shortcomings of this program, and Thomas’s current legal practice helping whistleblowers get their just rewards. In this second episode Mathews shifts his focus from identifying the problem of white-collar crime to examining what is already being done to fix the problem and potential ways to improve our efforts. Thomas argues one of the best ways for regulators like the SEC to manage the near impossible task of stamping out white-collar crime is to receive tips from whistleblowers. Without these tips, there often isn’t enough evidence to open investigations until well after the house of cards has come tumbling down and shareholders have already been left out to dry. Since it began in 2012, the SEC whistleblower program has resulted in the uncovering of hundreds of instances of potential wrongdoing and billions of dollars in sanctions on companies. Filmed on November 2, 2020. Key Learnings: The SEC whistleblower program has been successful in helping regulators uncover wrongdoing, but it alone is clearly not enough of a deterrent. Changes to standards have recently made it harder for short sellers to win claims if only supplying public information. Corporate insiders are much more likely to find success through this program.