Release Number 8159-20
May 4, 2020
CFTC Awards More Than $2 Million to Four Whistleblowers
Washington, D.C. — The Commodity Futures Trading Commission today announced a whistleblower award exceeding $2 million to be shared among four whistleblowers. The CFTC granted the whistleblowers’ award applications for both a CFTC action and related actions brought by another regulator. In issuing the award, the CFTC recognized the contributions of the whistleblowers, who jointly submitted a tip to the CFTC. Each of the whistleblowers also individually provided significant, ongoing assistance to the CFTC’s Division of Enforcement.
“In many instances, whistleblowers are in the best position to identify suspicious conduct,” said CFTC Director of Enforcement James McDonald. “That’s precisely what happened in this case. After witnessing unusual activity, the whistleblowers worked together to quickly submit a joint tip with sufficient detail that drew our attention to the potential violations.”
“The four whistleblowers here synthesized information for the CFTC that highlighted the economic impact of the suspicious activity they identified,” said CFTC Whistleblower Office Director Christopher Ehrman. “The whistleblowers’ initiative not only led to the CFTC’s investigation, but also to related investigations brought by other regulators.”
About the CFTC’s Whistleblower Program
The CFTC’s Whistleblower Program was created under Section 748 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010. Since issuing its first award in 2014, the CFTC has awarded approximately $100 million to whistleblowers. CFTC actions associated with those awards have resulted in monetary relief totaling more than $800 million. The CFTC issues awards related not only to the agency’s enforcement actions, but also in connection with actions brought by other domestic or foreign regulators if certain conditions are met.
The Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) provides confidentiality protections for whistleblowers. Regardless of whether the CFTC grants an award, the CFTC will not disclose any information that could reasonably be expected to reveal a whistleblower’s identity, except in limited circumstances. Consistent with this confidentiality protection, the CFTC will not disclose the name of the enforcement action in which the whistleblower provided information or the exact dollar amount of the award granted.
Whistleblowers are eligible to receive between 10 and 30 percent of the monetary sanctions collected. All whistleblower awards are paid from the CFTC Customer Protection Fund, which was established by Congress, and is financed entirely through monetary sanctions paid to the CFTC by violators of the CEA. No money is taken or withheld from injured customers to fund the program.
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Anyone with information relating to potential violations of the CEA or the CFTC’s regulations, including possible violations of commodity trading laws, can contact the CFTC’s Whistleblower Office via a toll-free hotline (866-873-5675), or can file a tip or complaint online.
To learn more about the CFTC’s Whistleblower Program, please visit the program’s website at: https://www.whistleblower.gov/