Today, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced a whistleblower award of $6 million. The whistleblower provided “original information that led the CFTC to bring a successful enforcement action.” The information that the whistleblower offered was “specific, credible, and timely.”
This news comes on the heels of numerous whistleblower awards issued by the CFTC in recent months, including a $2 million award split between four whistleblowers announced in early May. The current total of whistleblower awards granted by the CFTC is over $110 million since it issued the first award in 2014.
CFTC Director of Enforcement James McDonald stated, “the Commission’s Whistleblower Program has significantly strengthened our enforcement program” and “the contribution that whistleblowers have made cannot be overstated.” Since the inception of the CFTC’s Whistleblower Program, whistleblower disclosures have led the CFTC to obtain nearly $900 million in monetary relief. Christopher Ehrman, the Whistleblower Office Director, affirmed that the size of these recent whistleblower awards should serve as an example and “signal to potential whistleblowers that there are real financial incentives to promptly reporting violations to the CFTC.”
Stephen M. Kohn, whistleblower attorney at qui tam law firm Kohn, Kohn and Colapinto, praised the decision and the role of the whistleblower in exposing corruption and wrongdoing. He also sees this victory as a testament to whistleblower laws and states by “using US whistleblower reward laws, those with information of crimes have the tools to report fraud anonymously and earn huge awards.”
The CFTC whistleblower program, established in 2010 under the Dodd-Frank Act, pays whistleblower awards to eligible individuals who voluntarily provide the CFTC with original information on violations of the Commodity Exchange Act. This program implements the law’s requirement that the CFTC pay whistleblowers whose original information results in a sanction of $1 million or more a monetary reward of between 10% and 30% of all fines and penalties collected.