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CFTC Announces First Whistleblower Award To A Foreign Whistleblower

Date 16/07/2018

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today announced an award of over $70,000 to a whistleblower who significantly contributed to an ongoing CFTC investigation and led the CFTC to a successful settlement.  The award is the first made by the CFTC’s Whistleblower Program to a whistleblower living in a foreign country and the sixth award to a whistleblower who provided valuable information about violations of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA). 

The award demonstrates the international reach of the Whistleblower Program, underscoring that any person worldwide who has information about potential violations of the CEA can become a whistleblower by simply submitting a tip online at https://www.whistleblower.gov/, a website created and administered by the CFTC’s Whistleblower Office.

James McDonald, Director of the CFTC’s Division of Enforcement, stated:  “This award is significant because it signals to whistleblowers around the world that anyone with information about potential violations of the Commodity Exchange Act can participate in the CFTC’s Whistleblower Program.  The award also serves as another example of the increasing significance of whistleblowers in our enforcement program, a trend I expect to continue going forward.”

This award is the second award made by the CFTC under the newly enhanced Whistleblower Rules, which bolstered anti-retaliation protections for whistleblowers and improved the process for claims review (see the earlier such award: CFTC press release 7753-18, July 12, 2018, CFTC Announces Its Largest Ever Whistleblower Award of Approximately $30 Million).

The CFTC’s Whistleblower Program was created by Section 748 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010.  Whistleblowers are eligible to receive between 10 percent and 30 percent of the monetary sanctions collected.  The CFTC can pay awards not only on CFTC enforcement actions but also related actions brought by foreign futures authorities if certain conditions are met.  If a whistleblower first reports a potential violation to a foreign futures authority, the whistleblower must also report the same information directly to the CFTC in order to be considered for a whistleblower award. 

All whistleblower awards are paid from the CFTC Customer Protection Fund established by Congress and financed entirely through monetary sanctions paid to the CFTC by violators of the CEA.  No money is taken or withheld from harmed investors to fund the program.

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To learn more about the CFTC’s Whistleblower Program and to find out how to provide a tip or apply for an award, please visit the program’s website at https://www.whistleblower.gov/

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