First Whistleblower Complaint Filed With the SEC Pursuant to the New Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act

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The nationally recognized Manhattan, New York, Law Firm of Stuart D. Meissner LLC announces that last week it filed what is believed to be the first whistle-blower complaint with the SEC pursuant to the new banking regulation signed into law last week. The Law requires the regulator(s) to pay up to 30% of any monetary sanctions recovered by either the SEC or CFTC, exceeding 1 million dollars, to the whistle-blower for violations of securities laws.

Stuart D. Meissner Esq.

Goldman Sachs’ recent $550,000,000 settlement of investor fraud charges with the SEC would have meant an award anywhere from $55,000,000 to $165,000,000 to a whistle-blower

The nationally recognized Manhattan, New York, Law Firm of Stuart D. Meissner LLC announced that last week it filed the first whistleblower complaint pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, signed into law last week by President Obama.

The Dodd-Frank Act, deputized hundreds of thousands of employees in Wall Street brokerage and all public companies to be the new eyes and ears of the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”). The new law awards a whistle-blower who provides “original information” leading to the successful prosecution of the violation of securities laws to recover 10% to 30% of the total monetary sanctions exceeding $1,000,000 recovered by the SEC or CFTC. The award amount is impacted by the level of assistance provided to the SEC and/or CFTC by both the employee and their counsel. In addition, an employee who is retaliated or discriminated against as a result may sue in court for reinstatement at the same seniority level, double back-pay owed to the individual with interest, as well all costs and reasonable attorney’s fees. In addition, if represented by counsel, the law even provides for anonymity and confidentiality of disclosures and various protections.

On Friday, July 23, 2010, The Meissner Firm filed what is believed to be the first law firm to file a whistle-blower complaint pursuant to the new Dodd-Frank bill on behalf of a successful securities broker the firm represents against a major investment bank, his former short-term employer. The subject client was wooed to join the major firm based on the promise of taking over a former broker’s book of business, a broker who, contrary to the firm’s representations that such former employee had simply left the firm, had been fired. Upon arrival, the client learned that the large book of business was replete with growing customer complaints, which the firm had failed to report, related to a product that customers claimed the former broker misleadingly sold to them. Instead the firm instructed the client not to place anything in writing and instead attempt to pacify the clients while the compliance department attempted to make “adjustments” to accounts of clients who complained. Rather than be the “clean up “ person having to pacify the ex-employee’s clients who were allegedly defrauded by the prior broker, the client and his assistant, within weeks of commencing his new employment, went back to the brokerage firm from which they came and the broker’s Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) CRD record remained spotless.

“The impact of this new statute will be far and wide, for all large companies regulated by the SEC directly (investment banks, broker dealers) or indirectly (all public companies), or by the CFTC, especially for many employees and consultants within the securities industry.” Stuart Meissner, Esq., the firms managing partner, stated. Looking back in time, whistle-blowers in major scandals would have done very well. Goldman Sachs’ recent $550,000,000 settlement of investor fraud charges with the SEC would have meant an award anywhere from $55,000,000 to $165,000,000 to a whistle-blower.

The Meissner Firm’s managing partner published an article this week in Forbes.com detailing the new law

The Meissner Firm is a New York-based law firm located in mid-town Manhattan. Mr. Meissner spent many years as an Assistant Attorney General with the Securities Investor Protection Bureau and the Financial Crimes Unit of the New York State Attorney General's Office under two Attorney Generals, along with the Trial Division of the Manhattan District Attorney's Office under Robert Morgenthau. He uses this experience and his training to represent clients worldwide in Whistle-blower claims. The firm also handles allegations of FINRA / SEC / CFTC violations before the SEC, NYSE or FINRA. He has appeared numerous times in print and in the broadcast media, and has served as a consultant for an A&E documentary on stock broker fraud and has never lost any in person FINRA arbitration*. Whistleblower employees nationwide who wish to learn more or take advantage of the new legal reform may contact the Meissner Firm at 212-764-3100 for a free and confidential consultation or go to http://www.smeissner.com/finra-sec-whistleblower-law.html to submit a confidential inquiry via the internet.

Employees should ensure that their rights, both as an employee and as a whistle-blower with the regulators, are protected and that the issues of concern in fact involve the violation of securities laws. Having an experienced attorney notify the SEC or CFTC as soon as possible is crucial in order to be sure that the employee is the first to report the “original information.”

  • Prior results do not guarantee or predict a similar outcome in the future.

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