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July 1, 2019

Two whistleblowers have been jointly awarded $2 million for their significant contributions to the CFTC.  In addition to coming forward and providing numerous interviews and documents, the whistleblowers also reported the violations to another agency, which conducted its own investigation and shared its findings with the CFTC.  CFTC

June 24, 2019

The CFTC announced that a single whistleblower has been awarded $2.5 million.  Though the award was still substantial, according to the CFTC, it had been reduced due to an unreasonable delay in reporting the violations to the CFTC.  CFTC

May 6, 2019

The CFTC announced it awarded $1.5 million to a single whistleblower. According to the CFTC’s press release, the award related to both a CFTC action and a related action brought by another federal regulator, and, per program rules, was between 10-30% of the amount the government recovered. CFTC

July 12, 2018

The 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. 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). CFTC

May 22, 2017

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) unanimously approved amendments to the CFTC’s Whistleblower Rules that will, among other things, strengthen the CFTC’s anti-retaliation protections for whistleblowers and enhance the process for reviewing whistleblower claims. Based on a reinterpretation of the CFTC’s anti-retaliation authority under the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA), the CFTC or the whistleblower may now bring an action against an employer for retaliation against a whistleblower. The amendments also prohibit employers from taking steps to impede a would-be whistleblower from communicating directly with CFTC staff about a possible violation of the CEA by using a confidentiality, pre-dispute arbitration or similar agreement. “The Whistleblower Program is an integral part of the Division’s efforts to identify and prosecute unlawful conduct. The Commission’s approval of these rules today will further strengthen and enhance our efforts to protect customers and promote market integrity,” said James McDonald, the Director of the Division of Enforcement. Part 165 of CFTC’s Regulations provides the basic framework of the agency’s Whistleblower Program. In addition to strengthening anti-retaliation protections, the new amendments will add efficiency and transparency to the process of deciding whistleblower award claims and will, in many respects, harmonize the CFTC’s rules with those of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s whistleblower program. The amended rules establish a claims review process which will utilize a Claims Review Staff, in place of the Whistleblower Award Determination Panel, to consider and issue a Preliminary Determination as to whether an award claim should be granted or denied. A whistleblower will then have an opportunity to request to view the record and may contest the Preliminary Determination before the CFTC issues a Final Determination. The amendments also make changes to other key areas, such as whistleblower eligibility requirements, and make clear that, with limited exceptions, a whistleblower may receive an award in a Covered Action, a Related Action, or both. In addition, the amendments authorize the Whistleblower Office to handle facially ineligible award claims that do not relate to a Notice of Covered Action, a final judgment in a Related Action, or a previously filed Form TCR (Tip, Complaint or Referral). The amended rules will go into effect 60 days after publication in the Federal Register. CFTC

November 21, 2016

The CFTC released its annual enforcement results for FY 2016. The CFTC filed sixty-eight enforcement cases and achieved $1.29 billion in monetary sanctions ordered. CFTC also pursued litigation in over one hundred cases. In 2016 the CFTC also issued a whistleblower award of more than $10 million, the largest since the program’s inception in 2010. CFTC

October 12, 2016

The CFTC charged Kimball Parker of Lehi, Utah and his company MakeYourFuture, LLC, as well as Timothy Baggett of Lakeland, Florida and his companies Changes Worldwide LLC and Changes Trading LLC, with fraud and failure to make advertising disclosures regarding a futures trading system they sold to customers.  CFTC
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