Henry Ford. Thomas Edison. Steve Jobs. Whoever invented air conditioning. Some people are visionaries, and some are not. Take Jordan Thomas. When he left the Securities and Exchange Commission after 16 years of public service, he could have followed the well-trod path of his peers before and since, taking a partnership and comfortable salary from whichever white-shoe law firm he chose, and move from nailing asses to the wall to defending those asses from the nails. But Jordan Thomas saw the future. Hell, he created it. During his eight years at the SEC, he helped build the agency’s whistleblower program. As such, he knew that eventually, there was going to be a lot of money to be made on it. And so instead of joining his ex-colleagues, he got to work building something else: A legal practice designed to make said money. To say he’s now making significantly more than the half-million a year on offer from biglaw would be an understatement.
On Monday, the S.E.C. announced two awards totaling $83 million, with the money coming from a fund established by Congress that is financed by the fines paid by violators. Mr. Thomas said three clients of his firm, Labaton Sucharow, would collect the awards for alerting the agency to wrongdoing at Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch unit, which led to Merrill’s paying $415 million to settle the case in June 2016.
Mr. Thomas’s firm could pocket more than $25 million, with him personally reaping a significant slice of that.
The awards disclosed Monday were the largest ever paid under the S.E.C. whistle-blower program….
It was only last year, after seeing several cases pay out, that Mr. Thomas recouped the costs of getting his practice up and running.
Once and S.E.C. Regulator, Now Thriving as a Lawyer for Whistle-Blowers [NYT]
Whistleblowers Helped SEC Bring $415 Million Settlement Against Bank of America [WSJ]
SEC Announces Its Largest-Ever Whistleblower Awards [SEC]