Division of Enforcement

The mission of the Division of Enforcement (DOE) is to protect the public and preserve market integrity by detecting, investigating and prosecuting violations of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) and CFTC regulations.

About the Division

Potential violations DOE investigates include: fraud, false statements to the Commission, disruptive trading practices, misappropriation, use of a manipulative or deceptive device, price manipulation, false reporting, accounting violations, registration and fitness violations, failure to maintain or produce required records, failure to make required reports, a registrant’s failure to supervise, failure to comply with business conduct standards, and illegal off-exchange activity.

DOE may obtain information relevant to its investigations through a number of avenues, including other CFTC divisions, industry self-regulatory organizations, other governmental authorities, whistleblowers, victims, cooperating witnesses, self-reports, customer complaints, and members of the general public, as well as through the use of tools, means, and methods DOE has developed internally. Upon consideration of DOE’s enforcement recommendations, the CFTC authorizes either administrative actions before the Commission or federal enforcement actions in courts throughout the United States. Through the prosecution of CFTC enforcement actions, DOE seeks to obtain appropriate relief to address misconduct. 

Administrative relief includes: orders to cease and desist from further violations, civil monetary penalties, trading restrictions, and restitution. Federal relief includes: statutory restraining orders (with or without notice to the other party) to freeze assets and preserve records during the pendency of the litigation, preliminary and permanent injunctions to halt ongoing violations, appointment of a receiver, civil monetary penalties, restitution, and disgorgement of unlawfully obtained gains. Violation of a Commission order or federal order may result in additional Commission enforcement action.

When DOE obtains evidence that criminal violations of the CEA may have occurred, it may refer the matter to the Department of Justice for prosecution. Criminal activity involving commodity-related instruments can result in prosecution for criminal violations of the CEA and for violations of other federal criminal statutes, including commodities fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy.

DOE, through its Office of Cooperative Enforcement, also provides expert help and technical assistance with case development and trials to U.S. Attorneys' Offices, other federal and state civil and law enforcement agencies, and international authorities. The Commission and individual states may also join as co-plaintiffs in civil injunctive actions brought to enforce the CEA. DOE also engages in international cooperative efforts on a case-specific basis, and as a participant in the work of the International Organization of Securities Commissions through the work of the International Cooperative Enforcement Unit of DOE’s Office of Chief Counsel.

DOE, through its Office of Chief Counsel, provides legal and policy guidance to staff concerning DOE matters, investigations and litigations. At times, DOE will provide public guidance through, among other things, its Enforcement Manual as well as advisories on self-reporting, cooperation, and remediation.

DOE also houses the CFTC’s whistleblower program. Administered by the CFTC’s Whistleblower Office, the program provides monetary incentives as well as retaliation protections to individuals who come forward to report possible misconduct. 

Division in Action

The Commission must authorize all enforcement actions, and the CFTC has the power to bring such actions either administratively (before administrative law judges or other appointed presiding officers) or in federal court. Learn more about developments involving the CFTC’s enforcement program:

Senior Staff

Vincent McGonagle, Principal Deputy Director & Acting Director
Gretchen Lowe, Chief Counsel
Rick Glaser, Deputy Director
Paul Hayeck, Deputy Director
Robert Howell, Deputy Director
Matthew Hunter, Deputy Director
Joan Manley, Deputy Director
Charles Marvine, Deputy Director
Manal Sultan, Deputy Director
Christopher Ehrman, Whistleblower Office Director
Lenel Hickson, Deputy Regional Counsel
Christopher Reed, Deputy Regional Counsel
Scott Williamson, Deputy Regional Counsel
Neel Chopra, Special Counsel to the Director