Release Number 8208-20
CFTC Announces Whistleblower Awards Totaling More Than $1 Million
July 21, 2020
Washington, D.C. — The Commodity Futures Trading Commission today announced it will award more than $1 million to two whistleblowers who voluntarily provided original information that led the Commission to bring a successful enforcement action. The CFTC opened an investigation after the first whistleblower’s information was deemed to be sufficiently specific, credible, and timely. The second whistleblower significantly contributed to the matter by providing investigative staff with first-hand information obtained through participation in the underlying scheme.
“These awards stand as yet another indication of the significance of whistleblowers to our enforcement program,” said CFTC Director of Enforcement James McDonald. “We have seen a clear trend identifying the increasing importance of whistleblowers, and our Whistleblower Office, in our enforcement program. We expect this trend to continue as our enforcement program continues to grow.”
“As is made clear under the governing laws, even whistleblowers that have some degree of culpability may be eligible for an award under the Whistleblower Program,” added Whistleblower Office Director Christopher Ehrman. “We will continue to reward eligible whistleblowers and encourage them to come forward to aid in our investigations.”
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 $110 million to whistleblowers. CFTC actions associated with those awards have resulted in monetary relief totaling more than $900 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 related to potential violations of the CEA or the CFTC’s rules and regulations can submit a tip electronically by filing a Form TCR (Tip, Complaint or Referral) online at https://whistleblower.gov/overview/submitatip.
To learn more about the CFTC’s Whistleblower Program, please visit the program’s website at https://www.whistleblower.gov/.