September 28, 2023. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced that they have awarded over $15 million to two anonymous whistleblowers for two separate actions disclosed in their redacted Whistleblower Determination Orders. The CFTC was created back in 1974 when the Commodity Futures Trading Commission Act was passed, with the purpose of regulating the derivatives market in the US, and it is currently made up of 13 offices. With the CFTC came more regulation for futures contracts, options, and swaps and the hope for a more competitive, efficient, and safe market. Its Whistleblower Program was added in 2010 with the passage of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and seeks to protect whistleblowers who have witnessed a wrongdoing and report it in good faith. The CFTC has done just that in the case of these two whistleblowers.
One whistleblower interpreted key evidence and assisted the Department of Enforcement (DOE) in its investigation into the matter. The whistleblower also introduced another witness to corroborate claims, strengthening the CFTC’s case. This whistleblower’s work was so thorough that according to the Order, they saved the CFTC from expending additional resources.
The other whistleblower also provided a great deal of valuable information and support to the DOE, interpreting evidence and assisting in the creation of productive methods of investigation. The CFTC stated in the Order that without the efforts of this whistleblower, the case would not have been discovered.
The Whistleblower Office Acting Director applauded their efforts, emphasizing that “These whistleblowers provided sustained cooperation and support, which helped catch more misconduct … Today’s awards show how whistleblowers can act as force multipliers for the CFTC’s enforcement efforts.” The CFTC is no stranger to awarding whistleblowers. In fact, whistleblowers are eligible to receive 10%-30% of the monetary penalties paid by the offending party. Since its first awards were issued in 2014, they have since granted almost $350 million to whistleblowers, stemming from monetary sanctions, totaling more than $3 billion. Regardless of whether the CFTC grants an award, they will not disclose the identity or any identifying information of the whistleblower, except in limited circumstances.
This is all possible due to the Commodity Exchange Act, passed in 1936. This is the lifeforce of the CFTC, regulating the trading of commodity futures to safeguard against manipulation of the markets, and providing the foundation for the CFTC’s work.
If you would like to report securities, commodities, and banking fraud, you can contact attorneys at Tycko & Zavareei LLP. Eva Gunasekera and Renée Brooker are former officials of the United States Department of Justice and prosecuted whistleblower cases under the False Claims Act and FIRREA. Renée served as Assistant Director at the United States Department of Justice, the office that supervises False Claims Act and FIRREA cases in all 94 United States District Courts. Eva was the Senior Counsel for Health Care Fraud. Eva and Renée now represent whistleblowers. For a free consultation, you can contact Renée at [email protected] (tel.: 202-417-3664) or contact Eva Gunasekera at [email protected]. You can also go to Tycko & Zavareei LLP’s website for whistleblowers to learn more at www.fraudfighters.net.