On August 11, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) issued a whistleblower order granting awards to three whistleblowers who voluntarily provided the agency with original information and ongoing assistance.
According to the award order, the whistleblower “voluntarily provided the Commission with original information that led to the successful enforcement of a covered action” and “provided ongoing cooperation and assistance to Division staff, which significantly contributed to the success of the Covered Action.”
Through the CFTC Whistleblower Program, qualified whistleblowers, individuals who voluntarily provide original information that leads to a successful enforcement action, are entitled to a monetary award of 10-30% of the funds collected by the CFTC in the enforcement action.
The CFTC did not disclose the exact amount or percentage awarded to the whistleblowers. It did note that two of the whistleblowers (Claimant 1 and Claimant 3) received higher percentage awards than the third (Claimant 2).
The CFTC states that “Claimant 1 caused the case to be opened and Claimant 3 provided the highest level of ongoing assistance and cooperation.” The agency further explains that “Division staff found that Claimant 3 provided the highest level of ongoing assistance and cooperation of the three meritorious claimants.”
The agency also explains that it waived a TCR filing requirement for Claimant 3. To qualify for an award, a whistleblower must file a Form TCR but according to the CFTC Claimant 3 “intended to do so but had difficulty understanding or fulfilling the requirements for participating in the Whistleblower Program.”
“Taking Claimant 3’s circumstances into account, including Claimant 3’s not having a permanent address and staff’s reasonable efforts to support Claimant 3 in filing a CFTC Form TCR, the Commission finds it to be in the public interest and consistent with the protection of customers to find the whistleblower eligibility requirements satisfied here,” the order states. “Such a finding would reward Claimant 3 for his/her good faith efforts to report wrongdoing and assist the Commission, and it would encourage similar would-be whistleblowers to come forward in the future.”
“Roughly 30 percent of all CFTC enforcement investigations stem from whistleblowers, and information from whistleblowers assisted in enforcement actions totaling more than $3 billion,” the CFTC recently informed WNN. “The CFTC’s Whistleblower Office issues alerts to the public to encourage potential whistleblowers to come forward to help hold wrongdoers accountable.”
“The Commodity Futures Trading Commission recognizes the critical role whistleblowers play in our enforcement program every day,” said Acting Director of the CFTC’s Whistleblower Office Christina McGlosson.
A bipartisan bill introduced in July provides a long-term fix to the funding issue undermining the CFTC Whistleblower Program. The CFTC Whistleblower Fund Improvement Act is widely supported by whistleblower advocates.