Argued September 29, 2014
Petition for review of the Securities and Exchange Commission's denial of a claim for a whistleblower award. We hold that the SEC's interpretation of Section 21F of the Securities Exchange Act was reasonable and therefore entitled to deference under Chevron U.S.A. Inc. v. Natural Res. Def. Council, Inc., 467 U.S. 837, 104 S.Ct. 2778, 81 L.Ed.2d 694 (1984) . We deny the petition.
STEPHEN M. KOHN (Karim H. Kamal, New York, NY, Michael D. Kohn & David K. Colapinto, Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto, LLP, Washington, DC, on the brief), Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto, LLP, Washington, DC, for Petitioner.
WILLIAM K. SHIRLEY (Anne K. Small, Michael A. Conley, John W. Avery, Stephen G. Yoder, on the brief), Securities and Exchange Commission, Washington, DC, for Respondent.
Dean A. Zerbe, Zerbe, Fingeret, Frank & Jadav PC, Houston, TX, for Amicus Curiae.
Before: WINTER and CHIN, Circuit Judges, and OETKEN, District Judge.[*]
WINTER, Circuit Judge.
Larry Stryker petitions for review of an order of the Securities and Exchange Commission (" SEC" ) denying his claim for a whistleblower award. He sought the award under Section 21F of the Dodd-Frank Act (" Dodd-Frank" ), 15 U.S.C. § 78u-6, based on information he supplied to the SEC that it relied upon in a successful enforcement action. The SEC held that, because the information was submitted before enactment of Dodd-Frank, petitioner did not qualify for an award under Section 21F(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rules 21F-3(a) and 21F-4(c). Concluding that the SEC's interpretation of Section 21F was within its authority and consistent with the legislation, we deny the petition.
Between 2004 and July 2009, petitioner submitted information to the SEC's Enforcement Division regarding alleged wrongdoing by Advanced Technologies Group LTD (" ATG" ) and an involved individual. In March 2009, the SEC opened an investigation of the alleged misconduct. It interviewed petitioner the following month. The SEC subsequently filed an enforcement action against ATG and the individual, charging them with violating Section 5 of the Securities Act of 1933. In November 2010, the SEC reached a settlement with the respondents to the enforcement action. The district court for the Southern District of New York approved the settlement, whereby ATG and the individual were held liable for a little over $19 million. Advanced Techs. Group Ltd., Exchange Act Release No. 70772, 2013 WL 5819623 (Oct. 30, 2013); see SEC v. Advanced Tech. Group, Ltd., No. 10-CV-4868 (S.D.N.Y. 2011).
On January 11, 2011, petitioner submitted an application for a whistleblower award under Section 21F of Dodd-Frank based on the successful enforcement action. The SEC's preliminary determination recommended that his award claim be denied. It stated, in relevant part:
The information provided by Claimant [Stryker] prior to July ...