This week, Senators Charles Grassley (R-IA), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Joni Ernst (R-IA), and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) introduced the CFTC Fund Management Act (Act) on the Senate floor. The whistleblower law firm Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto and the National Whistleblower Center filed a letter to members of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry in support of the bill. The Act will ensure CFTC whistleblowers who have risked their careers by reporting frauds will be effectively protected and compensated by the Fund.
If the Act is not passed soon, whistleblowers who have filed award claims will not receive the payouts they deserve.
Senator Grassley said in a press release that the CFTC whistleblower program has “been instrumental in identifying wrongdoing and protecting investors, all without costing the taxpayer a dime.” And that “The program is at risk of becoming a victim of its own success, as reward pay-outs threaten to exceed the caps on the fund used to encourage whistleblower disclosures.” Explaining that, the bill “raises those caps and ensures that this program can continue to protect investors and improve accountability in a self-sufficient manner.”
Established under the Dodd Frank Act of 2010, the CFTC Whistleblower Program has issued over $120 million to whistleblowers and collected sanctions totaling nearly $1 billion for the United States Government.
According to a recent CFTC report, the program saw a 126% increase in whistleblower tips this year. The report also noted that “30 to 40% of the Division’s ongoing investigations now involve some whistleblower component.”
Allowing the fund to become fully depleted will undermine public confidence in this highly successful whistleblower program. In his letter, whistleblower attorney and founding partner at KKC, Stephen M. Kohn, wrote that “Passing this bill should be one of the highest priorities of the current Congress,” and that Congress should be sure not to “leave whistleblowers out in the cold.” Stephen Kohn reinforced that “[t]he proposed CFTC Fund Management Act is essential in ensuring that the office of the whistleblower has the funds to continue its outstanding work on behalf of whistleblowers and the public interest.”
The passage of this bill is essential to ensure the continued success of the CFTC whistleblower program. The bill has garnered bi-partisan support and must be passed in order to enable this highly successful program to continue to properly reward these essential whistleblowers.