Release: #4426-00
For Release: July 25, 2000


Commission Raises Maximum Amount of
Civil Monetary Penalties to Adjust for Inflation

Washington, D.C. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (Commission) announced today that it has approved an increase in the maximum amount of civil monetary penalties that may be assessed for violations of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) and the rules and orders promulgated thereunder. The current maximums of $110,000 and $550,000 will be increased to $120,000 and $575,000, respectively. The rule amendments will become effective on October 23, 2000.

These amendments to Commission Rule 143.8 were adopted in accordance with the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996, which requires each Federal agency to adjust the maximum civil monetary penalties provided by law under its jurisdiction at least once every four years. The Commission made its first inflation adjustment in 1996. The latest adjustment will result in three tiers of available penalties, based upon whether the violations involved occurred (1) prior to November 27, 1996, (2) between November 27, 1996 and October 22, 2000, or (3) on or after October 23, 2000.

The CEA currently provides for civil monetary penalties under three provisions, Sections 6(c), 6b and 6c. The maximum penalty per violation set forth in Sections 6(c) and 6c of the CEA is $100,000, which was adjusted to $110,000 by the adoption of Rule 143.8 in 1996 and is now being raised to $120,000. In each case, the maximum penalty per violation can be as high as triple the monetary gain to the violator if that amount is greater than the dollar amounts described in the preceding sentence. Under Section 6b of the CEA, the corresponding dollar amounts of maximum penalty per violation are $500,000, $550,000 and $575,000.

The rule amendments will be published shortly in the Federal Register. A copy of the Commission's Notice of Final Rulemaking can be obtained by contacting the Commission's Office of Secretariat, Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20581, (202) 418-5100. The Commission also intends to make its Notice of Final Rulemaking available in the near future on its website at www.cftc.gov/foia/fedreg00/foi000725a.htm