Release Number 8239-20
CFTC Awards Domestic and International Whistleblowers
September 11, 2020
Washington, D.C. — The Commodity Futures Trading Commission today announced awards to two whistleblowers whose specific, credible, and timely information led the CFTC to open an investigation, and whose continued assistance helped lead to a successful enforcement action.
A whistleblower based in the U.S. first alerted the CFTC to the wrongdoers’ fraudulent activity and continued to provide helpful information and documents the Division of Enforcement may not have otherwise obtained. A second whistleblower, based overseas, subsequently provided the CFTC with information about an ongoing fraud being perpetrated by the same wrongdoers as well as their efforts to avoid detection by the CFTC.
“As our markets increasingly span the globe, this case shows that, no matter where individuals reside, they can have a significant impact on CFTC investigations when they share what they know about potential misconduct,” said Division of Enforcement Director James McDonald.
“We appreciate the early and continued assistance that these individuals provided,” added Whistleblower Office Director Christopher Ehrman. “It is gratifying to see individuals work with the Commission beyond the initial tip to help put a stop to fraudulent activity.”
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/.