A former executive for Fidelity Investments has sued the mutual funds company, claiming it retaliated against her after she blew the whistle on potential fraud to investors.
The whistleblower, Jackie Hosang Lawson, resigned in 2007 after what she called a “sustained campaign of retaliation” after she raised concerns regarding the incorrect calculation of expenses that could have defrauded investors.
A lawyer for Fidelity, meanwhile, claims that Lawson began making baseless accusations about fraud after she was passed over for a promotion, and that her complaints only involved “routine errors” that the company fixed as soon as they became aware of them.
This new lawsuit comes after the U.S. Supreme Court indirectly revived Lawson’s case in 2014 and expanded who is protected through the Sarbanes-Oxley Act’s whistleblower protections. Now, Ms. Lawson seeks $8.4 million for damage to her reputation, emotional harm, attorneys’ fees and lost compensation, all stemming from the alleged retaliation.
Lawson is on record as having repeatedly brought forth concerns as to how Fidelity could account for tens of millions of dollars in expenses the company reported to investors. By increasing its expenses, Fidelity would stand to boost its fees, as well. Fidelity manages approximately $2.3 trillion in assets.
After bringing her concerns to her managers and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), she also filed a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The SEC closed its investigation into the case in 2012, but Fidelity Investments has been blocked from using that fact as evidence in this more recent case.
To learn how you can proceed if you have been the victim of retaliation in the workplace after reporting concerns about company behavior, speak with a skilled Dallas attorney at Whistleblower Law for Managers.