On July 21, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced that it will award more than $1 million to two whistleblowers who voluntarily provided original information that led to a successful enforcement action by the CFTC. According to the CFTC, the first whistleblower provided information that led to the CFTC opening an investigation, The second whistleblower aided the investigation by providing first-hand information on the underlying scheme.
Through the CFTC Whistleblower Program, CFTC whistleblowers who provide the agency with original information that aids in a successful enforcement action are entitled to a whistleblower reward ranging from 10-30% of funds recouped by the government.
“These awards stand as yet another indication of the significance of whistleblowers to our enforcement program. We have seen a clear trend identifying the increasing importance of whistleblowers, and our Whistleblower Office, in our enforcement program. We expect this trend to continue as our enforcement program continues to grow,” stated CFTC Director of Enforcement James McDonald.
“As is made clear under the governing laws, even whistleblowers that have some degree of culpability may be eligible for an award under the Whistleblower Program,” added Whistleblower Office Director Christopher Ehrman. “We will continue to reward eligible whistleblowers and encourage them to come forward to aid in our investigations.”
The CFTC Whistleblower Program was created with the passage of the Dodd-Frank Act in 2010. Since its inception, the program has given over $110 million in whistleblower awards and the agency has recouped approximately $900 million through enforcement actions aided by whistleblowers. In addition to allowing whistleblowers to obtain rewards, the program has anti-retaliation procedures to protect whistleblowers, which include the protection of whistleblowers’ confidentiality.
“When given the proper tools, whistleblowers can be the number one line of defense for combating fraud,” said Stephen M. Kohn, partner at the qui tam law firm Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto, who represents CFTC whistleblowers. “On the tenth anniversary of the signing of the Dodd-Frank Act, the CFTC continues to show why whistleblowers should be rewarded for their courageous efforts.” Kohn continued.
Read the CFTC Press Release: CFTC Announces Whistleblower Awards Totaling More Than $1 Million.