Katz Banks Kumin Client Spurs Landmark SEC Enforcement Action

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced on September 29, 2016 that International Gaming Technology (IGT) would settle a $500,000 charge for unlawfully retaliating against one of its executives who raised repeated concerns about IGT’s accounting practices. The whistleblower, represented by firm partners Lisa Banks and Alexis Ronickher, has chosen to maintain anonymity. The enforcement action is the first time the Commission has brought a charge against a company for unlawful retaliation without charging additional underlying securities violations. Commenting on the decision, Ms. Ronickher said, "The SEC’s willingness to take action against a publicly traded company irrespective of whether it chooses to bring an enforcement action based on the whistleblower’s tip is an extremely significant development.  It sends a strong message both to publicly traded companies and to their employees that the SEC is serious about protecting whistleblowers.”

Ms. Banks concluded, “After a two-year investigation, the SEC felt strongly enough about the evidence in this case to pursue a landmark, standalone enforcement action charging IGT with engaging in unlawful retaliation.  Our client is pleased with the outcome of the SEC’s investigation and looks forward to the same conclusion being reached by OSHA on his pending SOX claim.”