Release Number 8233-20
CFTC Awards Whistleblower for Exposing Ongoing Fraud
September 04, 2020
Washington, D.C. — The Commodity Futures Trading Commission today announced it has issued a whistleblower award to an individual whose information led the Commission to open an investigation into ongoing fraudulent activity and successfully bring an enforcement action. In addition to the initial tip, the whistleblower also provided extensive assistance, including documents that were essential to establishing wrongdoing. This additional support enabled the CFTC to take action more quickly and conserve resources.
“The violations would have been difficult to detect without the whistleblower’s information and assistance,” said Division of Enforcement Director James McDonald. “This matter highlights the importance of the Commission’s Whistleblower Program to the agency’s enforcement efforts and its effectiveness in helping the Commission hold wrongdoers accountable.”
“The whistleblower’s tip helped stop fraudulent activity that harmed main street investors,” said Whistleblower Office Director Christopher Ehrman. “Rewarding that kind of assistance is especially gratifying.”
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 $120 million to whistleblowers. CFTC actions associated with those awards have resulted in monetary relief totaling nearly $950 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/.