Kohn, Kohn and Colapinto’s CFTC whistleblower attorneys have over 30 years of experience representing and protecting whistleblowers in cases involving complex financial and commodities fraud in the commodities markets. Our team of whistleblower attorneys have fought tough CFTC whistleblower cases involving market manipulation schemes, spoofing, commodities futures, commodity options, swap trading markets, derivatives, international foreign corrupt practices and other CFTC violations.
We currently represent CFTC whistleblowers under the confidential and “anonymous” whistleblower protection provisions of the Commodity Exchange Act and work closely with enforcement officials. If you believe you’re eligible for a CFTC whistleblower award, waiting can greatly reduce your chances of getting an award and protecting yourself. Get in touch with a Kohn, Kohn and Colapinto CFTC whistleblower lawyer today for a confidential case evaluation.
The CFTC whistleblower reward program, established in 2010 under the Dodd-Frank Act, pays whistleblower awards to eligible individuals who voluntarily provide the CFTC with “original information” on violations of the Commodity Exchange Act that leads to a successful enforcement action resulting in monetary sanctions exceeding $1,000,000. To implement the law, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission has created an Office of the Whistleblower. This office publishes extensive information about the CFTC whistleblower program on-line.
What is Considered “Original Information” in a CFTC case?
“Original information” is information not already known to the Commission that is derived from:
- Your independent knowledge (information in your possession that is not generally known or available to the public), or
- Your independent analysis (your examination and evaluation of information that may be publicly available but which reveals information that is not generally known).
Also, if the Commission received the same information previously from someone else, your information will not be considered original information unless you can show that you were the “original source” of the information.
The CFTC and SEC whistleblower programs are nearly identical in how they process whistleblower reward claims. The two agencies often cooperate on investigations.
Rewards under the program are mandatory for qualified whistleblowers and are in the range of 10 to 30% of the collected proceeds. Employers cannot retaliate against whistleblowers or encumber potential whistleblowers from communicating with the CFTC.
To be eligible for a whistleblower award, an individual (or group of individuals) must first submit a Form TCR – Tip, Complaint, or Referral. The Form TCR may be submitted electronically via the website, or by fax or mail. Whistleblowers who live outside of the U.S. can also hire a CFTC whistleblower lawyer to assist in filing their Dodd-Frank Act or Commodity Exchange Act case.
A whistleblower eligible for an award can be any individual who sends the Commission a Form TCR containing information about a potential violation of the Commodity Exchange Act. Examples range from a corporate officer or insider, to a trader or market observer, to an investor or fraud victim. A company or another entity is not eligible to be a whistleblower.
Whistleblowers can appeal a Final Order of the Commission regarding their award claim to an appropriate federal court of appeals no later than 30 days after the Final Order is issued.
If you would like to report fraud in commodities markets or violations of commodities laws under the CFTC whistleblower program, we suggest you contact the Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto whistleblower law firm and speak with a CFTC whistleblower lawyer. You can file for an award claim anonymously but in order to do so, you must be represented by counsel.
Whether or not you seek anonymity, the Commission is dedicated to protecting your identity. The Commission will not disclose your identity in response to requests under the Freedom of Information Act. As a general rule, the Commission treats information learned during the course of an investigation – including the identity of sources – as non-public and confidential.
If you are being retaliated against for reporting fraud or misdoing, Dodd-Frank protections provide whistleblowers with strong protection against retaliation. It is against the law for an employer “discharge, demote, suspend, threaten, harass, directly or indirectly, or discriminate against, a whistleblower” for engaging in a protective activity, such as reporting fraud. If retaliation is occurring, whistleblowers are eligible to file for relief, such as back and front pay, as well as compensation for legal fees and litigation costs.