The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) on Monday announced an award of more than $70,000 to a whistleblower who “significantly” contributed to an ongoing CFTC investigation and led the CFTC to a successful settlement. The award is the first made by the CFTC’s Whistleblower Program to a whistleblower living in a foreign country and the sixth award to a whistleblower who provided valuable information about violations of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA).
“This award is significant because it signals to whistleblowers around the world that anyone with information about potential violations of the Commodity Exchange Act can participate in the CFTC’s Whistleblower Program,” said James McDonald, director of the CFTC’s Division of Enforcement. “The award also serves as another example of the increasing significance of whistleblowers in our enforcement program, a trend I expect to continue going forward.”
This award is the second made by the CFTC under the newly enhanced Whistleblower Rules, which bolstered anti-retaliation protections for whistleblowers and improved the process for claims review. On July 12, the CFTC awarded approximately $30 million to a whistleblower who voluntarily provided key original information that led to a successful enforcement action. That award was the largest ever made by the CFTC’s Whistleblower Program.
The CFTC’s Whistleblower Program was created by Section 748 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010. Whistleblowers are eligible to receive between 10 percent and 30 percent of the monetary sanctions collected. The CFTC can pay awards not only on CFTC enforcement actions but also related actions brought by foreign futures authorities if certain conditions are met. If a whistleblower first reports a potential violation to a foreign futures authority, the whistleblower must also report the same information directly to the CFTC in order to be considered for a whistleblower award.