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CFTC Playing Catch Up Makes Another Whistleblower Award

Posted  March 6, 2019

On Monday, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced a whistleblower award totaling more than $2 million. It is the latest in what has been a string of recent CFTC awards after a very slow start for the CFTC Whistleblower Program. Indeed, 2018 was a banner year for the program reflecting what appears to be a renewed commitment by the agency to make up for lost time and embrace the critical role whistleblowers can play in the government’s fraud enforcement scheme.

This latest award is notable for two reasons. First, the whistleblower was not a typical company insider but an industry expert who provided the agency with important information based on an independent analysis of market data. Second, the award was based both on the CFTC’s enforcement action as well as a related action brought by another federal regulator.

The CFTC highlighted these two points in its press release announcing the award:

Today’s award illustrates two key aspects of our Whistleblower Program — that an individual doesn’t have to be an insider to receive a whistleblower award and the Commission can pay awards based on related actions brought by other regulators.

The agency further stressed what it hopes will be “continued growth in our Whistleblower Program, both in terms of tips received and awards ordered.” It made a particular call out to whistleblowers who provide the agency with expert market analysis, even if they are not employed by the company engaged in the fraud.

This latest award brings to $85 million the total amount of whistleblower awards made under the CFTC’s program. The agency has a very long way to go to catch up with the SEC Whistleblower Program, which has doled out hundreds of millions of dollars in awards since its inception in 2014. But with this recent award, and the even larger awards in recent months, the CFTC seems to be making a strong statement that it wants to hear from whistleblowers.


Tagged in: CFTC Whistleblower Reward Program, Whistleblower Eligibility, Whistleblower Rewards,