The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission recently reported the largest-ever whistleblower award, where an individual received a $200 million dollar payment for providing information about violations.
The Whistleblower Program is responsible for granting a number of awards to individuals who identify and report misconduct.
Whistleblowers are essential for exposing transgressions and holding wrongdoers accountable. However, the rules for submitting a whistleblower claim are stringent. The CFTC will only consider an award under the following conditions:
- The whistleblower voluntarily submits original information that leads to the successful enforcement of a related action or resolution of administrative or judicial action
- The whistleblower submits a claim in response to a final judgment or a Notice of Covered Action
- The whistleblower provides additional information to the CFTC, including evidentiary documentation, explanations or testimony that the staff deems acceptable
- The whistleblower signs and adheres to the terms of a confidentiality agreement if the Whistleblower Office requests one
The CFTC may waive any requirements it deems necessary in extraordinary circumstances.
A whistleblower cannot receive an award if he or she:
- Is a member of law enforcement, a foreign regulatory authority or an organization listed under Whistleblower Rules § 165.6
- Has a criminal conviction related to the action
- Submitted redundant information or information obtained from an ineligible person
- Knowingly presents false, fraudulent or fictitious statements or materials
- Intends to evade the rules set forth by the CFTC
If you have a good faith belief that you have witnessed or uncovered evidence of a violation, you deserve an opportunity to prove your claims. Before coming forward, it is crucial to understand your rights and protections under federal law.