Release Number 8463-21
CFTC Awards Approximately $1 Million to Two Whistleblowers
November 22, 2021
Washington, D.C. — The Commodity Futures Trading Commission today announced awards totaling nearly $1 million to two whistleblowers whose information led the CFTC to bring a successful enforcement action. Both whistleblowers provided significant information and substantial assistance to CFTC staff during the underlying investigation.
While each whistleblower’s information supported and ultimately led to different charges the CFTC brought in the enforcement action, the CFTC allocated a higher award percentage to one claimant because of the key role that claimant’s information played in causing the CFTC to open the investigation in question and focusing CFTC staff’s efforts during the investigation’s earliest stages. The other claimant reported to the CFTC after that investigation was already underway. Opening investigations is crucial to the success and effectiveness of the CFTC’s enforcement program, and the first claimant’s provision of information during the earliest stages of the matter also helped CFTC staff conserve time and resources and better focus their investigative efforts. Granting a larger award to the first claimant recognized this added value.
“The CFTC’s Whistleblower Program already made history with the announcement of the largest-ever Dodd-Frank Act whistleblower award last month,” said CFTC Acting Director of Enforcement Vincent McGonagle. “The CFTC will continue to reward deserving whistleblowers who help the CFTC root out misconduct.”
“It is not always the case that the first tipster gets a higher award, but in this case, where both claimants significantly contributed to the action, it was the first claimant’s information that played a key role in leading the CFTC to open an investigation,” added Whistleblower Office Director Christopher Ehrman. “This matter demonstrates that whistleblowers can receive an award for their role in causing the CFTC to open an investigation or for significantly contributing to an already open investigation, or both.”
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 granted whistleblower awards amounting to approximately $300 million. Those awards are associated with enforcement actions that have resulted in monetary sanctions totaling more than $3 billion. 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.
Go to Whistleblower.gov for more information about CFTC’s Whistleblower program.