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Regulation and Compliance > Federal Regulation > SEC

Will ‘Wall Street’ Sequel Influence SEC Whistleblowers?

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It might be too late for the movie’s protagonist, but can other would-be Bud Foxes be saved? The securities employment law firm of Stuart D. Meissner LLC. thinks so, and is looking to recruit potential whistleblowers by launching

In a bit of life imitating (or abetting) art, the site is being launched along with the release of Oliver Stone’s “Wall Street – Money Never Sleeps” starring Michael Douglas and Shia LaBeouf, which is the sequel to Stone’s critical and commercial hit “Wall Street” from 1987.

Along with the site, a new advertisement will be aired in theatres, targeting securities industry employees. LaBeouf plays the role of Jacob Moore, who lives in an apartment in Manhattan’s Chelsea district. The advertisement will be first shown on the film’s release date on Friday in Chelsea and at the renowned Ziegfeld Theatre in the Broadway district in Manhattan.

The advertisement will be set to music similar to the theme song from NBC’s “Law and Order.” The showing of the advertisement will roll out to other theatres in other areas of New York commencing on October 8.

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act deputizes employees in Wall Street brokerage firms and public companies to be the eyes and ears of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodities Futures Trading Commission. The law awards a whistleblower who provides “original information” leading to a successful prosecution 10% to 30% of any monetary sanctions exceeding $1,000,000 recovered by the SEC or CFTC.

In addition, the Act provides legal recourse for employees who are retaliated or discriminated against as a result of whistleblowing under the statute. In addition, if represented by counsel, the law provides for anonymity if the whistleblower so chooses, up until the whistleblower is paid their bounty.

Meissner, the site’s founder, is a former Assistant Attorney General in N.Y. State Investor Protection and Financial Crimes Section both under Eliot Spitzer and his predecessor. Meissner was also a prosecutor in the Trial Division of the Manhattan district attorney’s Office under Robert Morgenthau.

Meissner’s firm has already filed five SEC complaints based on the new statute involving Wells Fargo Investments, Banc of America Investment Services, hedge fund Plainfield Asset Management and others. In addition, several other whistleblower claims involving past major investment bank and hedge fund activity are expected to be filed in the coming weeks. Most of the claims involve issues arising from the 2008 credit crisis.


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