The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has made awards totalling nearly USD1 million to two whistleblowers whose information led the CFTC to bring a successful enforcement action.
Both whistleblowers provided significant information and substantial assistance to CFTC staff during the underlying investigation.
While each whistleblower’s information supported and ultimately led to different charges the CFTC brought in the enforcement action, the CFTC allocated a higher award percentage to one claimant because of the key role that claimant’s information played in causing the CFTC to open the investigation in question and focusing CFTC staff’s efforts during the investigation’s earliest stages.
The other claimant reported to the CFTC after that investigation was already underway. Opening investigations is crucial to the success and effectiveness of the CFTC’s enforcement programme, and the first claimant’s provision of information during the earliest stages of the matter also helped CFTC staff conserve time and resources and better focus their investigative efforts. Granting a larger award to the first claimant recognised this added value.
“The CFTC’s Whistleblower Program already made history with the announcement of the largest-ever Dodd-Frank Act whistleblower award last month,” says CFTC Acting Director of Enforcement Vincent McGonagle. “The CFTC will continue to reward deserving whistleblowers who help the CFTC root out misconduct.”
“It is not always the case that the first tipster gets a higher award, but in this case, where both claimants significantly contributed to the action, it was the first claimant’s information that played a key role in leading the CFTC to open an investigation,” adds Whistleblower Office Director Christopher Ehrman. “This matter demonstrates that whistleblowers can receive an award for their role in causing the CFTC to open an investigation or for significantly contributing to an already open investigation, or both.”