The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced a new series of whistleblower awards totalling over $45 million on Thursday, August 2. “The awards demonstrate the growing success of the CFTC’s Whistleblower Program, in particular the increasing volume and complexity of incoming whistleblower submissions,” an official statement from the Commission reads.
Indeed, one whistleblower was awarded $30 million in July, which, at the time, was the largest ever amount granted to a single whistleblower since the program began. When the reward was announced, CFTC Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo said “that an award of this magnitude will incentivize whistleblowers to come forward with valuable information.”
— CFTC (@CFTC) August 2, 2018
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High Rewards Reap High Returns in the Form of Criminal Tip-Offs
James McDonald, Director of the CFTC’s Enforcement Division, said that “Whistleblowers have added significant value to our enforcement program by enabling the Commission to swiftly identify misconduct and hold wrongdoers accountable.” He added that he expects this trend to continue.
So far, it has.
Christopher Ehrman, Director of the CFTC’s Whistleblower Office, believes that “the sheer magnitude of the $45 million in monetary awards announced today demonstrates the game-changing nature of the Whistleblower Program.”
The Whistleblower Program was founded in 2010 as part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. It awards 10 to 30 percent of the monetary sanctions collected by the Commission. The announcement explained that the CFTC can also pay awards collected not only by itself, but by foreign futures authorities “if certain conditions are met.” All whistleblowers are granted confidentiality protection under the Act.
The Whistleblower Program is Rapidly Picking Up Speed
Prior to the record-breaking rewards granted over the last two months, the CFTC had only paid out on rewards four times, once in both 2014 and 2015, and twice in 2016. The largest of the four rewards was $10 million, and the total amount granted to all recipients did not exceed $11 million.
Over the same period, “the SEC’s total payments to whistleblowers had already exceeded $100 million,” Lexology reports.