Federal Whistleblower Report Announces Increased Rewards and Heightened Anti-Fraud Efforts

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) issued its annual report this month. The 31-page document evidences the CFTC’s heightened anti-fraud efforts and the increased rewards that we are seeing for those who come forward to report fraud through the CFTC Whistleblower Program that has resulted in almost $100 million in rewards.

Some highlights for 2018 include:

  • The largest-ever whistleblower award of approximately $30 million was announced on July 12, 2018;
  • The first whistleblower award to a foreign whistleblower was announced on July 16, 2018;
  • Multiple whistleblower awards totaling more than $45 million were announced on August 2, 2018;
  • Whistleblower education and outreach efforts have increased; and
  • New efforts to provide virtual currency resources.

These highlights, in addition to the fact that tips are on the rise, are all good news for whistleblowers in the commodities industry.  The CFTC remarked that the sharp year-over-year increase in tips “can be attributed at least in part to the continuing outreach and education efforts of the [whistleblower office] and the Commission more broadly.” The efforts included “13 industry conferences and trade shows relating to the commodity futures and derivatives markets…agricultural and commodity trade shows; conferences focused on the global markets for futures, options, cleared swaps, and other derivatives; as well as gatherings of participants in the high frequency and automated trading space.”

The CFTC also emphasized its dedication to keeping whistleblowers’ identities confidential, noting that whistleblower’s office “assisted the Commission’s Division of Enforcement in preparing the documents to remove whistleblower-identifying information or otherwise take steps to preserve whistleblower confidentiality” in numerous actions.

You can read the entire report by clicking here.

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