On July 12, 2018, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced an award of approximately $30 million to a whistleblower who voluntarily provided key original information that led to a successful enforcement action. The award is the largest award made by the CFTC’s Whistleblower Program to date and is the fifth award made by the program.
“The Whistleblower Program has become an integral component in the agency’s enforcement arsenal,” said CFTC Chairman, J. Christopher Giancarlo. “We hope that an award of this magnitude will incentivize whistleblowers to come forward with valuable information and provide notice to market participants that individuals are reporting quality information about violations of the Commodity Exchange Act [CEA].”
The CFTC’s Whistleblower Program was created by section 748 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (Dodd-Frank Act). The CFTC pays monetary awards to eligible whistleblowers who voluntarily provide the CFTC with original information on violations of the CEA that leads the CFTC to bring a successful enforcement action resulting in monetary sanctions exceeding $1,000,000.
By law, the CFTC protects the confidentiality of whistleblowers and does not disclose information that might directly or indirectly reveal a whistleblower’s identity. Under the Dodd-Frank Act, employers may not retaliate against whistleblowers for reporting possible violations of the CEA to the CFTC.
Whistleblowers are eligible to receive between 10 percent and 30 percent of the monetary sanctions collected. All whistleblower awards are paid from the CFTC Customer Protection Fund established by Congress and financed entirely through monetary sanctions paid to the CFTC by violators of the CEA. No money is taken or withheld from harmed investors to fund the program.
Previously, the highest award amount paid to a CFTC whistleblower was in March 2016 of more than $10 million (see CFTC Press Release 7351-16, CFTC Announces Whistleblower Award of More Than $10 Million).