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Judge Shows Ardor to Whistle-Blowers in Fidelity Case

A Federal Judge in Boston has ruled that mutual fund companies are subject to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act just as other companies who directly hire workers.  Mutual fund firms, such as Fidelity Investments, hire management companies to invest their money.  Fidelity had argued that because they do not have workers, as such, that the whistle-blower law should not apply to them.

Jackie Hosang Lawson and Jonathan Zang were former employees at Fidelity who witnessed what they saw to be improper actions by Fidelity.  Upon notifying their supervisors of the problems, they perceived that they were treated poorly and unfairly.  Lawson and Zang filed separate suits against Fidelity, but the two were combined in U.S. District Court.

Lawson’s attorney, Indira Talwani, is quoted by Reuters as saying, “”This is a critical case because Sarbanes-Oxley was designed to protect investors.  Mutual funds are the major way that Americans invest their money.”

Judge Douglas Woodlock did not rule for the plaintiffs in their wrongful discharge suits.

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