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CFTC Awards $4.5 Million to Whistleblower

Posted  June 4, 2024

Yesterday, June 3, 2024, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced a $4.5 million award to a whistleblower who provided detailed information and assistance to the Division of Enforcement (DOE). Pursuant to agency practice, the DOE did not disclose the identity of the whistleblower or the associated enforcement action. The CFTC maintains strict confidentiality over its whistleblowers. The CFTC did report that the whistleblower provided assistance that was “significant in both amount and quality” and that DOE staff “greatly relied on the whistleblower’s industry expertise.” CFTC Director of Enforcement Ian McGinley acknowledged that the award “appropriately reward[ed] a whistleblower who gave valuable information during multiple contacts with DOE staff.”

The CFTC made the award under the CFTC Whistleblower Program, created under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, which provides whistleblowers with up to 30% of any government recovery resulting from information they voluntarily provide. Since its first award in 2014, the CFTC has made roughly $370 million in whistleblower awards associated with enforcement actions bringing in more than $3.2 billion in government recoveries.

In announcing the award, the CFTC stressed the critical role whistleblowers play in the agency’s fraud enforcement regime and its commitment to rewarding those who come forward with useful information. McGinley said, “the CFTC especially appreciates the critical role whistleblowers play in our enforcement actions” and recognized that “it is not always easy [for whistleblowers] to come forward and provide support.

Director of the Whistleblower Office Brian Young encouraged whistleblowers to report to the CFTC. Young explained, a “whistleblower need not be an insider to provide the cooperation and information that leads to a successful CFTC enforcement action.” In fact, he noted that “[a]nyone who provides actionable information – including victims, witnesses, and insiders – may qualify to receive a cash award under the CFTC’s Whistleblower program.”

As previously blogged by Constantine Cannon’s Whistleblower Insider, while not as active or prolific as the SEC Whistleblower Program, which also provides successful whistleblowers with up to 30% of any government recovery, the CFTC has made it clear that if you have information on potential commodities law violations, it wants to hear from you.

If you have information relating to potential commodities fraud or securities fraud and want to speak to a member of the Constantine Cannon whistleblower team to learn what it means to be a whistleblower, please do not hesitate to contact us for a free and confidential consultation.

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