CFTC Announces First Whistleblower Award to a Foreign Whistleblower

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) recently announced a whistleblower award of more than $70,000 to a foreign whistleblower, a first of its kind award for a foreign individual who significantly contributed to an ongoing CFTC investigation that led the CFTC to a successful settlement. It’s the sixth award to a whistleblower who provided valuable information about violations of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA).

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.

  • James McDonald, Director of the CFTC’s Division of Enforcement

In order for a foreign individual to be considered for a whistleblower award under the CFTC’s Whistleblower Program, the whistleblower must report the information to the CFTC at the same time that it is reported to a foreign futures authority.  The requirement for dual reports emphasizes the need for an experienced whistleblower attorney if you are considering bringing matters to the government’s attention.

Notably, the CFTC recently enhanced its Whistleblower Rules, which bolstered the anti-retaliation protections for whistleblowers and improved the process for claims review.  This is the 2nd award since the enhancement, and the previous award was the largest ever — nearly $30 million.

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