March 22, 2024

Whistleblower receives $1.25 million award from CFTC

On March 14, 2024, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission announced that a whistleblower had been awarded $1.25 million for reporting misconduct to the CFTC.  Despite having held a compliance or internal audit role, the whistleblower was nevertheless eligible to receive an award because he/she first reported the information to “senior officers” at the company, and then waited more than 120 days to report the information to the CFTC.

The information provided by the whistleblower was “quite significant” because the tip alone was responsible for the CFTC opening its investigation.  The award was provided after the CFTC confirmed that the following requirements had been satisfied:
1. The claimant voluntarily provided original information to the CFTC;
2. The information was first provided to an employer that took no meaningful remedial action; and
3. The claimant waited at least 120 days to share the information regarding the misconduct with the CFTC.

The CFTC noted that this was the first time an award has been granted to a whistleblower who served in an internal compliance or audit function and complied with the CFTC’s 120-day safe harbor provision.  Since the first award was granted in 2014, the CFTC has awarded a total of approximately $365 million to whistleblowers.

CFTC Press Release | CFTC Order