On September 4, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced a whistleblower award issued to an individual whose tip exposed ongoing fraud. The whistleblower’s tip led the CFTC to open an investigation into ongoing fraudulent activity, and the whistleblower’s additional assistance helped lead to a successful enforcement action. The CFTC did not disclose the amount of the award.
“The violations would have been difficult to detect without the whistleblower’s information and assistance,” said Division of Enforcement Director James McDonald. “This matter highlights the importance of the Commission’s Whistleblower Program to the agency’s enforcement efforts and its effectiveness in helping the Commission hold wrongdoers accountable.”
“The whistleblower’s tip helped stop fraudulent activity that harmed main street investors,” added Whistleblower Office Director Christopher Ehrman. “Rewarding that kind of assistance is especially gratifying.”
Qualified CFTC whistleblowers, individuals who voluntarily provide the agency with original information that leads to a successful enforcement action, are entitled to monetary awards for between 10 and 30 percent of monetary sanctions collected. Whistleblower awards are financed through monetary sanctions paid by violators of the Commodity Exchange Act. According to the CFTC, “the CFTC has awarded approximately $120 million to whistleblowers” and “CFTC actions associated with those awards have resulted in monetary relief totaling nearly $950 million.”
In addition to whistleblower awards, the CFTC Whistleblower Program provides anti-retaliation protections to whistleblowers. These include confidentiality protections. Thus, the CFTC will not disclose the identity of the recipient of this whistleblower award.