The Commodities Future Trading Commission (CFTC) gave out the largest whistleblower award in its history on July 12, 2018: $30 million under the Dodd-Frank whistleblower program. The program, begun in 2010, has issued five awards since its inception.
In line with prior awards given by the CFTC, no details about the content of the original information, which resulted in a successful enforcement action, or about the whistleblower were provided by the agency. (The CFTC, by law, must keep the identity of its whistleblowers confidential.) However, some press organizations, notably Bloomberg, speculated that the award concerned a 2015 conflict of interest settlement involving JPMorgan, and that a former SEC lawyer who became a forensic investigator, Edward Siedle, received the award.
J. Christopher Giancarlo, Chairman of the CFTC, said in a statement, “We hope that an award of this magnitude will incentivize whistleblowers to come forward with valuable information and provide notice to market participants that individuals are reporting quality information about violations of the Commodity Exchange Act [CEA].”
The previous record high for a CFTC award was $10 million, issued in April, 2016. Key, original information provided by the whistleblower led to a successful enforcement action. The April, 2016, award was the third one issued out of the current five awards.
Those who blow the whistle become eligible to receive between 10 percent and 30 percent of the monetary penalties collected by the CFTC. Whistleblower awards are never taken from harmed investors. Instead, awards are paid out of the CFTC Customer Protection Fund that Congress established. The fund is wholly financed by the monetary penalties paid to the CFTC by CEA violators.
Upon announcing the record award, the Director of the CFTC’s Whistleblower Office, Christopher Ehrman, commented, “The award today is a demonstration of the program’s commitment to reward those who provide quality information to the CFTC. We hope that this award will continue to facilitate the upward momentum and success of the CFTC’s Whistleblower Program by attracting those with knowledge of wrongdoing to come forward.”
The Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 created the CFTC Whistleblower Program. Financial awards are paid to whistleblowers who voluntarily give the CFTC original information concerning violations of the Commodity Exchange Act. The information must be vital to the agency’s success at mounting a successful enforcement action, but the enforcement action must result in monetary sanctions greater than $1 million.
Under the Dodd-Frank Act, retaliation by employers against any whistleblower who reports CEA violations is prohibited.
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If you think you have the facts needed to bring a whistleblower case, the experienced whistleblower attorneys at the Louthian Law Firm can review your case and help you file the appropriate disclosure statement. Under some circumstances, the government will intervene, or join in your lawsuit.
Your chances of succeeding are greater if your whistleblower claim is substantive, clear, and to the point. Because of this, meeting with a qualified whistleblower attorney can increase your chances of winning. The Louthian Law Firm can help you form your claim so that the government will be more inclined to intervene in your case. Sometimes, government intervention can increase the chances of recovering reward money. But even if the government decides not to intervene, it could still be a good idea to pursue your case. If you decide to do so, our strong support system can assist you through every step of the process.
For a free, confidential evaluation of your case, call the Louthian Law Firm today or, if you prefer, use our online contact form.