On February 21, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) issued a whistleblower award, the first of the 2023 Fiscal Year. The award was granted to a whistleblower who voluntarily provided original information that led to a successful enforcement action.
According to the CFTC’s award order, “the information [the whistleblower] provided was sufficiently specific, credible, and timely to cause the Commission to open an investigation.” It further notes that “after providing the initial information that led to the opening of the investigation, [the whistleblower] provided additional, ongoing support to Division of Enforcement staff by participating in a telephonic interview.”
Through the CFTC Whistleblower Program, qualified whistleblowers are entitled to monetary awards of 10-30% of the proceeds collected by the government in the enforcement action connected to their whistleblowing.
In addition to providing monetary awards, the CFTC provides anti-retaliation protections to whistleblowers, including confidentiality. The agency thus does not release any potentially identifying information about award recipients.
The award is the first issued by the CFTC in the 2023 Fiscal Year and the first in almost one calendar year. The last award issued by the CFTC was a $650,000 award granted to four whistleblowers on March 22, 2022.
On December 27, 2022 the CFTC issued three separate award denials, the first orders issued in Fiscal Year 2023. On February 21, 2023 the agency issued three more denials.
The CFTC’s enforcement results for Fiscal Year 2022 highlighted the key role the agency’s whistleblower program plays in enforcement efforts. “The Whistleblower Program’s importance to the DOE continued to grow in terms of leads, successful enforcement actions, and whistleblower awards,” the CFTC release states.
Overall, the CFTC has awarded over $330 million to whistleblowers and whistleblowers have helped the agency recover over $3 billion in sanctions.