CFTC Awards $625,000 to Four Whistleblowers
On March 28, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) awarded approximately $625,000 to four whistleblowers who all voluntarily provided the agency with original information about commodities law violations.
Three of the four whistleblowers filed their whistleblower disclosure jointly. Together they provided the CFTC with important information as well as ongoing assistance. The fourth whistleblower filed individually. The CFTC decided to award the individual whistleblower a higher award than the other three because they “provided the highest level of ongoing assistance and cooperation,” according to the award order.
“We truly appreciate the efforts of the four meritorious whistleblowers in this matter,” said CFTC Whistleblower Office Director Christopher Ehrman. “While each of the whistleblowers provided critical information in this complicated matter, it is important that we recognize the whistleblower whose contributions went above and beyond to support the CFTC’s enforcement efforts.”
“As reflected in the final order, the whistleblowers in this matter provided a high degree of support to Enforcement staff,” said CFTC Acting Director of Enforcement Vincent McGonagle. “After the matter was opened, the whistleblowers either individually or jointly provided ongoing cooperation and assistance that helped support several of the charges against the defendants.”
Through the CFTC Whistleblower Program, qualified whistleblowers, individuals who voluntarily provide original information which leads to a successful enforcement action, are entitled to a monetary award of 10-30% of funds recovered by the government.
The award order also details award denials for five other individuals who submitted award claims for the enforcement action. In particular, the order provides a lengthy explanation of the denial for one claimant who provided information and assistance to the CFTC. The CFTC determined that the individual did not qualify for an award because they provided the information and assistance after being subpoenaed by the agency. Thus, the information was not “voluntarily” provided.
Since issuing its first award in 2014, the CFTC has awarded approximately $330 million to whistleblowers. Whistleblowers have helped the agency recoup more than $3 billion in sanctions.
Geoff Schweller also contributed to this article.