Annual Report of CFTC Whistleblower Program Reveals Continued Growth, Including 961 Tips Filed in FY21
Sunday, October 31, 2021

Today the CFTC released the annual report of the CFTC Whistleblower Program for FY 2021.  The report suggests that the program is playing an important role in enabling the CFTC to detect and combat fraud.  Some of the key facts from the report and the recent announcement of a $200 million CFTC whistleblower award:

  • The CFTC granted 6 applications for whistleblower awards, totaling more than $3 million. Shortly after FY 2021, the CFTC announced the largest award in the history of the program — a $200 million award to a whistleblower for providing information concerning the manipulation of financial benchmarks used by global banks. The award stems from an April 2015 CFTC enforcement action imposing an $800 million penalty on Deutsche Bank to settle charges of manipulation, attempted manipulation, and false reporting of LIBOR and Euribor.

  • The CFTC’s Whistleblower Office (WBO) received 961 whistleblower tips and complaints on Form TCR during FY 2021, a slight decrease from 1030 tips received in FY 2020 but more than double the 455 tips received in FY 2019.

  • During FY 2021, the WBO posted 27 notices of covered actions and received 140 whistleblower award applications.

  • Since the inception of the CFTC Whistleblower Program, the CFTC has granted a total of more than $323 million in awards. The total sanctions ordered in CFTC actions associated with those awards exceed $3 billion. The awards are not paid from appropriated funds.  Instead, all CFTC whistleblower awards are paid from the CFTC Customer Protection Fund, which is financed through monetary sanctions paid to the CFTC in judicial or administrative actions enforcing the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) and CFTC regulations.

The CFTC received tips and complaints regarding a wide range of violations of the CEA and CFTC regulations, including:

  • insider trading;

  • position limit violations;

  • reporting violations;

  • false statements to the government;

  • failure to supervise, recordkeeping violations;

  • registration violations;

  • illegal swap dealer business conduct;

  • wash trading;

  • solicitation fraud;

  • misappropriation; and

  • various other types of fraud, use of deceptive or manipulative devices in trading, spoofing, and other forms of disruptive trading or market manipulation.

The report also discusses the efforts of the Customer Education and Outreach Branch to create and distribute financial education messages and materials designed to help customers spot, avoid, and report fraud and other violations of the CEA.  Those efforts include publishing the following alerts:

The FY21 report of the CFTC Whistleblower Program reveals that the CFTC Whistleblower Program continues to grow and is helping to drive record-level enforcement activity.  The award of $200 million to a whistleblower will likely spur an increase in high-quality tips that will strengthen the CFTC’s ability to carry out its vital enforcement mission.

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