its largest whistleblower awardMajor breakthrough for whistleblowers reporting commodity frauds

WASHINGTON, D.C. | July 12, 2018—The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today announced its largest whistleblower award to-date in a commodity fraud case.  According to the Commission, it issued “an award of approximately $30 million to a whistleblower who voluntarily provided key original information that led to a successful enforcement action” Continue Reading Largest Award Issued in Commodity Fraud Case

The return from Thanksgiving holiday has been tough for advocates of whistleblower protections and common sense financial regulation. Last week, the Supreme Court heard Digital Realty Trust v. Somers, which concerned whistleblower protections under the Dodd-Frank Act. The Court appears poised to eviscerate internal whistleblower protections, as the justices seemed sympathetic to Digital’s argument that whistleblowers must report alleged misconduct to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to avail themselves of anti-retaliation protections. As the National Whistleblower Center explained in its highly-praised brief, both foundational rules of statutory construction and pragmatic policy concerns should push the Court to rule in favor of the whistleblower. Unfortunately,  Supreme Court watchers are currently predicting the opposite: a unanimous decision against whistleblower protections. Continue Reading CFTC Expanding Whistleblower Program

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced today that it is requesting public comment on proposed amendments to the Whistleblower Rules found in Part 165 of the CFTC’s Regulations. The CFTC announcement states:

“The amendments would enhance the process for reviewing whistleblower claims and make related changes to clarify staff authority to administer the whistleblower program. The proposal will also strengthen the CFTC’s anti-retaliation authority to provide whistleblowers protection from retaliation through CFTC enforcement action under the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA). Continue Reading CFTC Asks for Public Comments on Whistleblower Rule Changes

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission announced yesterday that it will make an award of approximately $290,000 to a whistleblower for providing valuable information about violations of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA).

Under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, the CFTC’s Whistleblower Program provides monetary awards to persons who report violations of the CEA if the information leads to an enforcement action that results in more than $1 million in monetary sanctions. Continue Reading Whistleblower to Receive $290,000 Award From CFTC

This week, the FBI released a public service announcement by actor Michael Douglas encouraging the public to report financial fraud. On its face this sounds like a good thing. However, the FBI left out some key information, namely other avenues of reporting that are likely better for whistleblowers.

There are robust financial incentives for filing a claim with the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. NWC General Counsel David Colapinto told the Washington Post if a whistleblower goes “to the FBI, they are probably going to get zero. The FBI’s not obligated to do anything for them.” The FBI’s rewards would be solely at the discretion of the Department of Justice. This is scary. Just take a look at how they treat their own whistleblowers.

As pointed out by the Huffington Post, the financial crisis has put financial fraud on more people’s radar. The SEC has seen an increase in securities fraud reports, despite the fact that nearly 70 percent of Americans are unaware of the SEC’s whistleblower program (see recent report by Labaton Sucharow).

If the FBI is truly interested in encouraging people to come forward and protecting those who do, they should not hide the ball. Give workers information about all their rights, including the much more robust financial reward programs at the SEC, IRS and the CFTC.

We always tell whistleblowers who contact us that is in their best interest to know their rights before they blow the whistle. Make sure you educate yourself and consult an attorney before you blow the whistle.

The Commodities Future Trading Commission (CFTC)CFTC has proposed a series of regulations to implement the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Members of the public are invited to comment on the proposed whistleblower regulations until February 4, 2011.

We can expect a replay of the conflict generated by the rulemaking of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Industry representatives wanted the SEC to establish exclusions, limits, reductions and hurdles for whistleblower rewards. They wanted to regulate the fees of whistleblower attorneys and threaten those attorneys with sanctions. You can read our prior blog posts about this controversy here and here. The National Whistleblowers Center prepared a report showing that whistleblower rewards encouraged the detection of fraud and did not hinder internal compliance programs. We also submitted comments on the SEC regulations. Hopefully, the CFTC will not be swayed by the SEC’s proposed rules, and will take a fresh look at what regulations will actually encourage employees to come forward with information to assist in the detection of frauds and other violations.