Whistleblower Challenges SEC After Lengthy Delays on Award Decision

A whistleblower who produced information leading to a corruption case against Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. is asking a federal court to intervene in the matter, arguing the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is taking too long to determine whether the individual will receive an award.

The anonymous whistleblower filed the petition in late April. It asks the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to compel the SEC to make its preliminary decision within 60 days.

Delays now commonplace

This petition comes about two years after the whistleblower first applied for compensation from the SEC as part of the corruption case. The whistleblower’s attorneys say this delay is unreasonable and that the SEC should have made a decision one way or the other long before now. However, the SEC is not required under law to make such a decision within a certain timeframe. The agency has not responded to the petition.

This is not the first whistleblower to air frustrations over the length of time the SEC can take to make these determinations. Their frustration is understandable, considering these awards frequently amount to several million dollars. From 2014 to 2017, the SEC took an average of just over two years to decide on whistleblower rewards, more than twice as long as it took in earlier years of its whistleblower reward program.

Part of the reason these decisions are taking longer is that the agency has been receiving an increasing number of requests each year. In 2018, the SEC received a record 5,282 whistleblower tips, up by 18 percent from 2017 and about twice the number it received in 2012.

For more information on how you can obtain compensation through the SEC’s whistleblower program, meet with an experienced attorney at Kardell Law Group.