The summer of 2018 is shaping up as a bonanza for some CFTC whistleblowers. The commission released three orders reflecting the determination of whistleblower awards totaling $45 million, according to an agency announcement. Notably, the heavily redacted public versions of the released documents does not specify specific award amounts, the identity of award recipients, or any information which might reveal a whistleblower’s identity in furtherance of confidentiality requirements under the Commodity Exchange Act (Order Determining Whistleblower Award Claims, August 2, 2018).
Recent whistleblower actions. Last month, the CFTC announced a $30 million whistleblower award, the largest in the agency’s history. Also, July saw the first-ever award to an individual living in a foreign country in an amount exceeding $70,000.
Leadership weighs in. James McDonald, Director of the CFTC’s Division of Enforcement, stated, "Today’s substantial Whistleblower awards mark another significant step in what has been a transformative year for the CFTC’s Whistleblower Program and the Division of Enforcement." He also noted that "Whistleblowers have added significant value to our enforcement program by enabling the Commission to swiftly identify misconduct and hold wrongdoers accountable."
CFTC Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo had this to say: "The Commodity Futures Trading Commission is committed to creating a level playing field for all market participants, and the Whistleblower Program is helping us achieve this goal." He added, "I hope that today’s awards encourage anyone with knowledge of violations of the Commodity Exchange Act to come forward and become a whistleblower."
Meanwhile, Christopher Ehrman, director of the agency’s Whistleblower Office, observed, "The sheer magnitude of the $45 million in monetary awards announced today demonstrates the game-changing nature of the Whistleblower Program." He concluded, "Whistleblowers are increasingly providing high-quality information about violations of the Commodity Exchange Act, and the Division of Enforcement is committed to both protecting and rewarding these deserving whistleblowers."
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