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Precious Metals, Costly Fraud

Posted  02/4/22
stack of coins
Safeguard Metals LLC and its principal, Jeffrey Santulan a/k/a Jeffrey Hill were hit with multiple enforcement actions this week, alleging fraud in their sale of securities and commodities to investors they targeted to sell their existing securities and invest the proceeds into gold and silver coins.  The CFTC and 27 state security regulatory agencies jointly filed one action, and the SEC filed its own action.  Both...

Top Ten SEC and CFTC Recoveries of 2021

Posted  01/7/22
Top Ten Sign with Letters
As we recently detailed, 2021 proved to be a blockbuster year for whistleblowers under the CFTC and SEC Whistleblower ProgramsSeven of the ten largest whistleblower awards of 2021 were made to SEC and CFTC whistleblowers, including a massive $200 million CFTC award that was roughly twice as large as all prior CFTC awards combined.  In total, the SEC paid more awards—both in total dollars and individual...

CFTC’s Largest-Ever Whistleblower Award Edges out SEC and IRS Awards and Acts as a Calling Card for the CFTC Whistleblower Reward Program Globally

Posted  11/8/21
globe
As we’ve reported in two recent blog posts, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s recent award of $200 million to a whistleblower announced on October 21 is certainly the largest the CFTC has ever made, but also the largest award made under any federal whistleblower-reward program to a single whistleblower, including the False Claims Act.  To appreciate the significance of this award, we wanted to give it...

CFTC Whistleblower Program 2021 Annual Report Shows Continuing Strength of Program as it Manages Challenging Year

Posted  11/1/21
Cast metal seal of CFTC on brick wall
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission issued its required annual report to Congress covering the CFTC Whistleblower Reward Program.  The report details the successes of the program over the 2021 fiscal year.  Created by the Dodd-Frank Act, the CFTC Whistleblower Program pays awards to eligible whistleblowers who voluntarily provide the Commission with original information, about matters within the CFTC’s...

SEC Chairman Views Cryptocurrency Markets as the “Wild West” and Calls for More Investor Protection

Posted  08/13/21
Cryptocurrency and US Hundred Dollar Bills Scattered Around
During a recent speech discussing the intersection of national security with cryptocurrencies at the Aspen Security Forum, Gary Gensler, the new Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), made clear the SEC will use its broad powers to continue protecting investors from the volatility associated with cryptocurrency markets which he characterized as the “Wild West.”  He also urged Congress to grant...

How will regulators respond to Bitcoin’s price fluctuations?

Posted  05/18/21
Bitcoins stacked with stocks rising
The price of Bitcoin—never stable—has become even more erratic in the last month.  From April 17 to May 17, the price fell 26%.  Such a huge drop would be noteworthy in a stock investment.  But in something claiming to be a currency, that kind of instability is normally only seen in times of crisis and hyperinflation.  Coming just as cryptocurrencies are making a play to be considered mainstream, this latest...

CFTC Whistleblower Program Faces Challenges of its Success: What Whistleblowers Should Know

Posted  05/11/21
Screenshot of CFTC Whistleblower Program web page
In May, 2021, the Wall Street Journal reported (paywall) on “turmoil” in the CFTC Whistleblower Program. According to the article, the CFTC has under consideration a whistleblower award based on a claim by a whistleblower in the 2015 $2.5 billion Deutsche Bank LIBOR manipulation settlement.  Given the size of the Deutsche Bank settlement, the potential whistleblower award is substantial: the Journal reports that...

CFTC: Looking for a Few Good Whistleblowers

Posted  05/7/21
Commodity Futures Trading Commission Logo
When it comes to their respective whistleblower programs, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) does not get the same respect or attention the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) does.  That is largely because the SEC Whistleblower Program has been an unparalleled success, with whistleblower awards being made (and highly promoted) virtually every week or two.  Last year was a record-breaking year for...

CFTC Clobbers Cryptocurrency Con Man

Posted  04/1/21
cryptocurrency scam
Last week, the CFTC announced that a federal court entered a nearly $600 million default judgment against a British man who used bitcoin to defraud more than 1,000 people worldwide.  The judgment is yet another indication that the CFTC will vigorously police cryptocurrency fraud.

The Scam

The CFTC filed a complaint against Benjamin Reynolds and his bitcoin trading and investment company, Control-Finance, back in...

Top Ten SEC and CFTC Recoveries of 2020

Posted  01/15/21
top ten list
Despite its many shortcomings, 2020 did bring great news for whistleblowers: record-breaking growth in the CFTC and SEC Whistleblower Programs, as well as massive enforcement actions by both agencies.  In this post, we will detail the Top Ten SEC and CFTC recoveries of 2020 in cases other than FCPA enforcement.  As detailed below, the SEC netted billions of dollars in penalties and restitution from companies accused...
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