The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) recently announced its largest whistleblower award to-date in a commodity fraud case. According to the Commission, it issued “an award of approximately $30 million to a whistleblower who voluntarily provided key original information that led to a successful enforcement action.”
“This is a major breakthrough for whistleblower protections. The CFTC has been slow in processing and granting awards for whistleblowers. Today’s $30 million award is good news for whistleblowers who expose frauds in the trillion-dollar commodities markets,” said Stephen M. Kohn, a leading whistleblower attorney and the pro bono Executive Director of the National Whistleblower Center.
“Large awards in whistleblower cases are the key in deterring future wrongdoing, and incentivizing other whistleblowers to step forward, facts that the Chairman of the CFTC recognized.” Kohn added
In light of this award, the Chairman of the CFTC, J. Christopher Giancarlo, issued the following statement:
“The Whistleblower Program has become an integral component in the agency’s enforcement arsenal. 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].”
James McDonald, Director of the CFTC Division of Enforcement, stated: “Whistleblower submissions have become a significant part of our enforcement program, allowing us to pursue violations we might otherwise have been unable to detect. That’s one reason why we’ve worked hard to expand our Whistleblower Program, including by increasing the protections afforded to whistleblowers that come forward. I expect the Whistleblower Program to contribute even more substantially to our enforcement efforts going forward.”
The CFTC’s Whistleblower Program, established as part of the Dodd-Frank Act, pays monetary awards to eligible whistleblowers who voluntarily provide the CFTC with original information on violations of the Commodity Exchange Act that leads to a successful enforcement action resulting in monetary sanctions exceeding $1,000,000. Rewards under the program are mandatory for qualified whistleblowers, and must be paid in the range of 10-30% of the collected proceeds.
(Source: Commodity Futures Trading Commission)