Hagens Berman Blog

Whistleblower News: SEC, Crypto, World Bank, IRS

by HB Whistleblower Legal Team


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Cryptocurrency Scams Are Now Among the SEC's Top Enforcement Priorities

An annual report by the Securities and Exchange Commission reveals how digital currency scams, which did not merit a mention two years ago, are among the agency’s top enforcement priorities.

The SEC is focused in particular on so-called Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), which involve the sale of digital tokens related to blockchain projects. While many such projects are complete or on their way to fruition, many others have failed to deliver on their promises or turned out to be outright scams. read more »

Indian fishing community tests World Bank immunity before US Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday on whether the World Bank and other international organizations enjoy absolute immunity from U.S. lawsuits.

The case centered on a dispute between the bank’s private-sector lending arm, the International Finance Corporation, and a fishing community in India that alleged residents’ livelihoods were damaged by pollution from an IFC-supported coal power plant. read more »

SEC collects nearly $4 billion in fines, disgorgement in fiscal 2018

The Securities and Exchange Commission assessed $3.945 billion in disgorgement and penalties across 821 enforcement actions in fiscal 2018, the agency’s enforcement division said in its annual report on Friday.

The total was a slight uptick in activity for the SEC, which reported just 754 actions in fiscal 2017 totaling $3.7 billion in disgorgement and penalties.

“The Enforcement Division has been and continues to be extremely successful in its efforts to deter bad conduct and effectively remedy harm to investors,” said SEC Chairman Jay Clayton in a statement. read more »

IRS May Be Unintentionally Discouraging Whistleblowers From Reporting Tax Cheats

Private-sector whistleblowers with knowledge of unpaid taxes may be discouraged from coming forward if the Internal Revenue Service doesn’t improve the form it uses to collect that data, a watchdog found.

Last February, Congress changed the law to require the IRS to include penalties for foreign bank account reporting violations when the agency calculates whistleblower awards. But the agency neglected to change Form 11369, which provides the data on which award amounts for credible whistleblowers are determined, according to a report released this week by the Government Accountability Office. read more »

SEC subpoenas Tesla on Model 3 production estimates

Tesla Inc said on Friday it received a subpoena from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission regarding Model 3 production forecasts the electric-car maker made in 2017.

Tesla has repeatedly missed its own production deadlines for the crucial Model 3 sedan, and is being investigated by multiple government agencies for misleading investors about its business. read more »