On July 31, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) posted a Notice of Covered Action (NoCA) for an enforcement action taken against Gartner, Inc., a technological research and consulting company headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut.
In May, the SEC announced settled charges against Gartner “for violating the anti-bribery, books and records, and internal accounting controls provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act” (FCPA).
According to the SEC, “from approximately December 2014 through August 2015, Gartner entered into a corrupt arrangement with a private South African company with close ties to South African government officials, knowing or consciously disregarding that all or part of the money paid to the private company would be used to bribe government officials to influence the award of consulting contracts to Gartner.”
To settle the charges, Gartner agreed to pay disgorgement and prejudgment interest totaling $856,764 and a $1,600,000 civil penalty.
Through the SEC Whistleblower Program, qualified whistleblowers, individuals who voluntarily provide original information that leads to a successful enforcement action, are entitled to monetary awards of 10-30% of the funds collected by the government in the case.
The SEC posts NoCAs for every enforcement action where the agency collected at least $1 million. The NoCA signals that the agency is now accepting whistleblower award claims for the case. Whistleblowers must file a WB-APP within 90 days of the posting of an NoCA to be eligible for an award.
On August 4, the SEC issued a $104 million whistleblower award, the fourth largest in the history of the SEC Whistleblower Program. Overall, the agency has paid out over $1.4 billion to whistleblowers since 2010.
The whistleblower law firm Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto recently published a public index documenting each SEC order. The index serves as a database, which whistleblowers, potential whistleblowers, and whistleblower attorneys can use to track the reasons cited by the SEC for award denial or approval.
Introduced in March, the bipartisan SEC Whistleblower Reform Act of 2023 addresses a few issues currently affecting the SEC Whistleblower Program, including the lack of anti-retaliation protections for internal whistleblowers. Former Commissioner of the SEC Allison Herren Lee, who currently serves as Of Counsel for Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto, penned an article calling for the passage of the bill.