On December 27, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Whistleblower Program issued its first final orders for whistleblower award claims in the 2023 Fiscal Year. The CFTC issued three separate award denials, noting in each case that the award applicants did not contribute to the success of an enforcement action.
Through the CFTC Whistleblower Program, qualified whistleblowers, individuals who voluntarily provide original information that leads to a successful enforcement action, are entitled to monetary awards of 10-30% of the sanctions collected in the action.
In the first award denial, the CFTC notes that “Division of Enforcement (“Division”) staff responsible for the investigation did not contact Claimants or use any information provided by Claimants to bring, investigate, or settle the Covered Action.”
In the second award denial, the CFTC similarly claims that “Division staff assigned to the investigation did not communicate with Claimant 1 or Claimant 2 in regard to this investigation.”
In the third award denial, the CFTC states that “[t]he Division opened its investigation based on information from sources that were not Claimants,” and that “[n]either Claimant 1 nor Claimant 2 provided any information that contributed in any way to the Division’s investigative findings that are the basis of the Covered Action.”
The CFTC posts Notices of Covered Action for each successful enforcement action where the agency collects at least $1 million. Individuals may then file whistleblower award claims for those actions.
In addition to monetary awards, the CFTC Whistleblower Program provides anti-retaliation protections to whistleblowers, including confidentiality protections. Thus, the CFTC does not disclose any identifying information in award determinations.
In Fiscal Year 2022, the CFTC issued 10 whistleblower awards totaling over $200 million. The most recent CFTC Whistleblower Award was issued in March 2022 when the agency awarded $650,000 to four individuals.