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Screenshot of a breaking news alert e-mail from Q2 2017
The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has announced the launch of a new whistleblower program website. The new website provides an improved interface aimed at educating the public about the CFTC’s whistleblower program, and allows users to submit tips about potential violations of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA), and of course apply for monetary awards.
The new website outlines whistleblower rights and protections and guides users through the process of filing a whistleblower tip and applying for an award. The website also provides users with easy access to the rules and regulations governing the CFTC’s Whistleblower Program, final award determinations, notices of covered actions, and press releases, while encouraging users to sign up for emailed CFTC Whistleblower Program updates.
We had reported on the CFTC’s first whistleblower award in May 2014 in the amount of $240,000. It was more than a year until another award was issued, in September 2015, for a roughly similar amount. Apparently the CFTC is looking to speed things up.
According to CFTC Chairman Timothy Massad:
We want to provide people, whether they are whistleblowers, attorneys, or members of the public, the information they need to easily understand our Whistleblower Program and to make the process of filing a tip and applying for an award more intuitive and straightforward.
The CFTC’s Whistleblower Program was created as part of the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010. The program provides monetary awards to persons who voluntarily report violations of the CEA, if the information leads to a successful CFTC enforcement action resulting in more than $1 million in monetary sanctions.
The CFTC can also pay awards based on monetary sanctions collected by other authorities in actions that are related to a successful CFTC enforcement action, and are based on information provided by a CFTC whistleblower. Whistleblowers are eligible to receive between 10-30% of the monetary sanctions collected. All whistleblower awards are paid from the CFTC Customer Protection Fund established by Congress, which is 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, whistleblower provisions also prohibit retaliation by employers against employees who provide the CFTC with information about possible violations, or who assist the CFTC in any investigation or proceeding based on such information.
The new CFTC whistleblower website can be seen at www.whistleblower.gov.