The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today announced an award of approximately $50,000 to a whistleblower who voluntarily provided key original information that led to a successful CFTC enforcement action.
The award is the fourth award made by the CFTC’s Whistleblower Program to a whistleblower who provided valuable information about violations of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA), and the third whistleblower award made in the last 10 months. The award represents between 10 percent and 30 percent of the monetary sanctions collected to date, and the whistleblower will be entitled to the same percentage of any additional amounts collected.
By law, the CFTC protects the confidentiality of whistleblowers and does not disclose information that might directly or indirectly reveal a whistleblower’s identity.
“Whistleblower tips are an increasingly important source of information for the Division, and we encourage anyone with knowledge of a violation of our statute to contact our Whistleblower Office as soon as possible,” said Aitan Goelman, Director of the CFTC’s Division of Enforcement.
Christopher Ehrman, the Director of the CFTC’s Whistleblower Office, added, “Whistleblowers continue to be an important weapon in the CFTC’s arsenal, and we are dedicated to rewarding valuable information and cooperation.”
The CFTC’s Whistleblower Program was created by Section 748 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (Dodd-Frank Act). The CFTC pays monetary awards to eligible whistleblowers who voluntarily provide the CFTC with original information about violations of the CEA that leads the CFTC to bring a successful enforcement action resulting in monetary sanctions exceeding $1,000,000.
The CFTC also pays monetary awards to eligible whistleblowers whose information leads to the successful enforcement of a related action brought by another governmental entity where that action is based on original information submitted to the CFTC, and the CFTC also brings an action based on that same information.
Whistleblowers are eligible to receive between 10 percent and 30 percent of the monetary sanctions collected. All whistleblower awards are paid from the CFTC Customer Protection Fund established by Congress and financed entirely through monetary sanctions paid to the CFTC by violators of the CEA. No money is taken or withheld from harmed investors to fund the program.
Under the Dodd-Frank Act, employers may not retaliate against whistleblowers for reporting violations of the CEA to the CFTC. In general, employers may not discharge, demote, suspend, threaten, harass, directly or indirectly, or in any other manner discriminate against a whistleblower because of any lawful act done by the whistleblower.
The last award announced by the CFTC was in April 2016, in the amount of more than $10 million, the largest ever awarded.