Bryan A. Wood established the firm’s Whistleblower Practice Group. Drawing from his many years of experience litigating complex financial fraud cases under the federal securities laws, Mr. Wood concentrates his practice on representing individuals seeking to submit tips under the SEC and CFTC whistleblower programs established by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010. Mr. Wood also represents individuals in cases brought pursuant to the IRS whistleblower program.
Mr. Wood’s whistleblower matters have resulted in SEC and CFTC investigations, civil and criminal cases in both federal court and administrative tribunals. Mr. Wood has represented clients in dozens of SEC, CFTC and IRS whistleblower actions concerning public accounting fraud, hedge fund valuation fraud, Ponzi schemes, market manipulation, FCPA violations, among other federal securities law violations.
Mr. Wood also represents individuals bringing qui tam claims under federal and state False Claims Acts.
Mr. Wood and his team of attorneys, accountants and investigators take seriously a whistleblower’s need for discretion and, therefore, make every effort to provide the maximum degree of anonymity available throughout the entirety of the whistleblower process. Mr. Wood has experience working both with “insiders” and whistleblowers whose tips are based on their unique understanding, analysis and insight into a particular industry or firm.
Mr. Wood also remains active in the firm’s securities and consumer departments.
- Representation of whistleblowers who uncovered a massive and long-standing scheme at a prominent custodial bank to steal billions in client funds through fraudulent foreign currency transaction fees, a case that the SEC settled for approximately $380 million;
- Representation of a Whistleblower who uncovered a fraud perpetrated by a publicly traded life settlements broker, which resulted in an approximately $48 million civil judgment for the SEC;
- Counsel to a team of individuals who blew the whistle on a phony audit that a prominent public accounting firm conducted on several related-party insurance companies with a collective market capitalization that peaked at more than $20 billion;
- Representation of a team of whistleblowers who identified a suspected accounting fraud at a publicly traded insurance company with a market capitalization in the billions of dollars;
- Counsel to whistleblowers who tipped off the SEC and other federal authorities to a Ponzi-like fraud occurring at $1 billion hedge fund, ultimately leading to federal civil and criminal charges against the fund and its principals;
- Representation of a whistleblower team that uncovered and alerted the SEC to a Ponzi scheme at a $600 million hedge fund, which led to civil charges brought by the SEC against the fund and its principals;
- Counsel to a whistleblower who tipped the SEC to a valuation fraud at a hedge fund with north of $150 million in AUM, leading directly to an SEC administrative action and trial; and
- Representation of whistleblower teams that have identified and tipped the SEC and/or CFTC to numerous suspected Ponzi and/or valuation schemes ranging in size from $50 million to $6 billion, all of which have resulted in the initiation of government investigations.
Mr. Wood’s securities and consumer matters include the following:
- In re BP plc Securities Litigation, a securities fraud class action that arose out of the tragic 2010 explosion and fire on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico, litigation that resulted in November 2016 in a $175 million settlement on behalf of holders of BP’s American Depository Shares.
- Carlson v. Xerox Corporation, et al., represented co-lead plaintiff Louisiana State Employees’ Retirement System in a securities fraud class action that resulted in a $750 million settlement.
- Mishler v. Nationwide Life Insurance Company, represented co-lead plaintiff Massachusetts Laborers’ Pension Fund in a class action on behalf of shareholders of Nationwide Insurance Company, which arose out of Nationwide’s merger with a subsidiary, Nationwide Financial Services, Inc., and settled after the insurance company agreed to increase its original offer by 11%, resulting in a $232.8 million benefit to Nationwide’s shareholders.
- In re Intel Corp. Derivative Litigation, represented co-lead plaintiff Louisiana Municipal Police Employees’ Retirement System in a derivative action against Intel, which arose as a result of the multi-billion regulatory fines and private settlements that Intel paid as a result of alleged antitrust violations. As part of the settlement, the firm obtained significant reforms to Intel’s antitrust compliance controls, practices and procedures. In approving the settlement, the court specifically noted that the corporate governance changes achieved through the litigation were “reflective of a substantial benefit rendered to the Company by the efforts of counsel.”
- City of Brockton Retirement System v. Avon Products, Inc., et al., represented named plaintiff Louisiana Municipal Police Employees’ Retirement System and the City of Brockton Employees’ Retirement System in a securities fraud class action arising from Avon’s international bribery scandal in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which settled in October 2015 for $62 million.
- Dunst v. Hyundai Motor America, et al., in which the firm sought recovery of damages on behalf of a class of North Carolina Hyundai purchasers who were fraudulently induced to purchase the vehicles as a result of Hyundai’s published gas mileage estimates, which the Company now admits were false, a nationwide class action that settled in June 2015 for a sum that could approach $255 million.
- Member of litigation team in several cases including In re Fannie Mae 2008 Securities Litigation ($170 million), Hill v. State Street Corporation ($60 million), In re Enterasys Networks, Inc. Securities Litigation ($50 million settlement), In re Smartforce PLC Securities Litigation ($38.5 million settlement), In re ICG Communications, Inc. Securities Litigation ($18 million settlement), In re Par Pharmaceutical Securities Litigation ($8 million), and In re Sonus Networks, Inc. Securities Litigation ($9 million settlement).
Publications, Presentations & Appearances
Mr. Wood has presented or served as a panelist on a number of whistleblower-related conferences and seminars, including:
- December 8, 2016: Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (Boston Chapter) & Institute of Internal Auditors (Boston Chapter), Joint Presentation with Harry Markopolos, Financial Fraud Whistleblower Investigations
- September 14, 2016: Taxpayers Against Fraud Education Fund Annual Conference, Panelist, Best Practices in Working with the IRS, SEC and CFTC Whistleblower Offices, Financial Fraud Whistleblower Investigations
- November 3, 2014: Boston Bar Association, Brown Bag Lunch, Panelist, SEC Whistleblower Program, Developments and Best Practices
- April 29, 2014: Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, Maryland Chapter, 11th Annual Fraud Conference, Presenter, So You Want To Blow The Whistle: An Overview of the SEC’s Whistleblower Program