Acting Chairman Mark Wetjen of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced last month that the agency will make its first award to a whistleblower as part of the Commission’s Whistleblower Program created by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010. The person will receive approximately $240,000 for providing valuable information about violations of the Commodity Exchange Act. CFTC Acting Chairman Wetjen observed:
I am pleased to announce this first award which illustrates that the CFTC’s Whistleblower Program is a valuable resource for the American public. Information received under the Whistleblower Program helps the agency better protect market participants and the public through successful enforcement actions.
Gretchen Lowe is the Acting Director of the CFTC’s Division of Enforcement. She was actively involved in the case. She added:
Here, the whistleblower provided specific, timely and credible information that led to the Commission bringing important enforcement actions. The CFTC’s Whistleblower Program is attracting high-quality tips and cooperation we might not otherwise receive and is already having an impact on the Commission’s enforcement mission.
According to Christopher Ehrman, the Director of the Whistleblower Office, the number of high quality tips, complaints and referrals received continues to increase. He observed:
Our Whistleblower Program is a necessary enforcement tool for the agency, and my hope is that this award will send the strong message that the CFTC will pay for information that helps us do our jobs.
Under the Dodd-Frank Act, the CFTC’s Whistleblower Program provides monetary awards to persons who report violations of the Commodity Exchange Act if the information leads to an action that results in more than $1 million in monetary sanctions. In such cases, whistleblowers are eligible for 10 to 30 percent of monies collected. The CFTC can also pay awards based on monetary sanctions collected by other authorities in actions that are related to a successful CFTC action. These awards are based on information provided by a CFTC whistleblower. The Dodd-Frank Act whistleblower provisions also prohibit retaliation by employers against employees who provide the CFTC with information about possible violations, or who assist in any investigation or proceeding based on such information. To learn more about the CFTC’s Whistleblower Program and how to provide a tip, visit Consumer Protection at CFTC.gov.
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