CFTC Pays Award to Commodities Fraud Whistleblower


Today, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) approved a whistleblower award to an individual who “voluntarily provided original information… .that led to successful enforcement action” under the Commodity Exchange Act. The order from the CFTC said the whistleblower’s information was specific, credible and timely. The whistleblower provided invaluable assistance to the CFTC through the investigation.

CFTC whistleblowers who identify fraud in the commodities and derivatives markets can be eligible to receive between 10 and 30 percent of the monetary awards if the information provided to the Commission results in a successful enforcement action of $1 million or more. The CFTC’s order, in this case, did not reveal the amount of the award granted.

“The CFTC’s award today sends a loud message. Fraudsters will be held accountable even in the face of COVID-19. Today’s action by the CFTC honored the strict confidentiality mandated by law. The name of the whistleblower was not revealed, along with other information that could have resulted in identifying this confidential source,” said whistleblower attorney Stephen M. Kohn.

Established in 2011 under the Dodd-Frank Act, CFTC whistleblowers can remain anonymous. The CFTC provides whistleblowers with confidentiality protections regardless of whether the CFTC ultimately issues awards or proceeds with a case. The CFTC will not disclose any information that could reasonably be expected to reveal a whistleblower’s identity, except in limited circumstances such as in connection with a public proceeding that requires disclosure. The CFTC also protects whistleblowers who report commodities fraud through the whistleblower rewards program from retaliation.

Since issuing its first award in 2014, the CFTC has awarded approximately $100 million to whistleblowers. The Commission actions associated with those awards have resulted in sanctions orders totaling more than $800 million.

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