Disappointed Whistleblowers Appeal Against The $279 Million SEC Whistleblower Case!

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Two whistleblowers who provided tips to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Justice Department (DOJ) in a bribery case against Ericsson appealed the SEC‘s decision to reject their claims while awarding another informant a record-setting $279 million. One of the claimants is Liss-Olof Nenzell, a former Ericsson executive; the other remains anonymous to adhere to whistleblower protection rules.

The Ericcson Case: The award from the SEC’s cash-for-tips program was related to the $1.1 billion settlement the Swedish company reached with U.S. authorities in 2019 over allegations it conspired to make illegal payments to win business in five countries, violating U.S. antibribery laws. Learn more about the case here on Corruption Tracker.

These appeals in the Ericcson Case shed light on the limited transparency surrounding the SEC’s whistleblower award process, particularly regarding the criteria for qualifying for a payout and determining the value of the provided information in aiding enforcement actions.

David Stone, a senior managing partner at Stone & Magnanini law firm in the U.S., filed a petition for his client Liss-Olof Nenzell, requesting the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to review the SEC’s final order. The appeal filing states that the SEC’s order is linked to its enforcement action against Ericsson and the Justice Department’s cases against Ericsson and its Egyptian subsidiary in 2019.

Nenzell’s lawyer expressed concerns about the government’s obligation to uphold transparency and fairness, suggesting that it may not have been fulfilled in this case. Nenzell had reported alleged corruption by Ericsson to the SEC and provided materials in 2016 that revealed the company’s methods for securing contracts.

The other claimant in the Ericsson case filed a petition against the SEC in the same appeals court as Nenzell. The petition requests a review of the regulator’s final order and protects the identity of Doe, with the lawyer representing Doe, Max Maccoby of Washington Global Law Group, stating their intention to pursue an appeal due to perceived flaws in the final order.

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