As we reported here, on May 5, 2023, the SEC issued an award of $279 million to a whistleblower. This is the largest award the SEC has issued to an individual whistleblower in the history of the SEC Office of the Whistleblower’s program.
Signaling that it is closely scrutinizing the expenses of senior executives and the internal controls of public companies, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged former Polycom CEO Andrew M. Miller this week with using approximately $190,000 in corporate funds for personal expenses and falsifying business records to hide this scheme from investors. The SEC alleged in its civil complaint that Miller submitted, or directed his administrative assistants to submit on his behalf, requests for reimbursement for personal expenses with fabricated business descriptions to conceal the true nature of the expenses.
The alleged personal expenses were wide-ranging, including meals with friends, weekend getaways, limousine rides for his girlfriend, hotel and spa gift certificates, clothing and accessories, and baseball and theater tickets. In addition to submitting false expense reports, the SEC alleged that Miller misused Polycom’s sales incentive program for additional personal travel and perks, including a trip to Bali.