OCC Enforcement Action Against Former Bank Executive Is Affirmed.

On March 7th, the D.C. Circuit denied a petition seeking review of OCC sanctions barring Lawrence Dodge, the former CEO of Sterling Bank, from participating in the affairs of any federally insured financial institution and assessing a $1 million civil penalty against him. Although the Court recognized the divergent manner in which the parties viewed Dodge's actions at the bank, it noted that its role in reviewing OCC enforcement actions is limited to a review of whether the OCC's decision was arbitrary or capricious. Because substantial evidence existed here to support the OCC's findings, the petition must was dismissed. Dodge v. Comptroller of the Currency.

Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblower Protections can Include Private Company Employees.

On March 4th, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the whistleblower protection provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act protect the employees of a public company's private contractors. The plaintiffs were employees of the investment advisor to a mutual fund. They claim they were wrongly fired after reporting a putative fraud concerning the mutual funds. Defendants sought dismissal, contending that the Act's whistleblower protections did not cover plaintiffs because plaintiffs were employed by the advisor, a private company, and not the SEC-registered mutual funds. The Supreme Court disagreed. It held that when read as a whole, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act includes the employees of a public company's contractor. Lawson v. FMR LLC.