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Commodity Exchange Act

People who have details about violations of the Commodity Exchange Act could obtain confidentiality, protections, and potential rewards as whistleblowers when the government pursues an enforcement action.

What Is The CFTC?

The CFTC is an independent government agency that exercises regulatory authority over futures trading as it falls under the jurisdiction of the Commodities Exchange Act.

The CEA has an increasingly complex and varied scope in recent years, governing commodities like oats, grains, wheat, cotton, crude oil, gasoline, financial instruments, and heating oil.

As a result of the expansion of the whistleblower protections and eligibility under the Dodd Frank Act as established in 2010, the CFTC saw a 63% increase in the number of complaints and tips filed under that program in 2018. Increased awareness about the program has brought this to the foreground for people who intend to recover compensation and report information about financial scandals.

Many important financial regulation violation issues and scandals have been successfully targeted through the CFTC because of inside whistleblower information.

Commodity Exchange Act Whistleblower and Violations

If you believe you have inside information that a company has violated laws that fall under the jurisdiction of the CFTC or the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, you could be eligible to report this information and receive protection as a whistleblower.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission whistleblower program provides whistleblowers job protection, confidentiality, and rewards when their important information leads to the recovery of compensation owed to the government. This whistleblower program was enacted under the Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act in 2010 to encourage and support those who became aware of commodity law violations to tell the CFTC.

What is a Covered Action?

If the CFTC uses the information provided by a whistleblower to successfully receive sanctions larger than $1 million, these are posted on the CFTC website. The purpose of such a notice is to inform whistleblowers who submitted a tip that they could be eligible for an award payout.

While it is important to pay attention to these notice postings because a whistleblower has up to 90 days to apply for an award, it can be difficult for a whistleblower to keep track of this information. It’s helpful to have an experienced whistleblower lawyer guiding you through the process if you believe you have evidence of wrongdoing under the areas regulated by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Whistleblower Awards Under The CFTC

Whistleblower awards can range from 10% to 30% of the monetary sanctions collected by a CFTC enforcement action or related action so long as more than $1 million is collected due to the whistleblower’s information. In order to properly qualify for this CFTC whistleblower reward program, the whistleblower has to be the first one to submit the information.

The largest award given to a CFTC whistleblower was $10 million.

Confidentiality and Job Protection Benefits for CFTC Whistleblowers

Whistleblowers are eligible to submit information to the CFTC anonymously so long as an attorney represents them. It is strongly recommended that you reach out and retain the services of an experienced attorney as soon as you believe you have inside information about violation of the CFTC.

In order to have a better understanding of your rights and responsibilities, the CFTC will keep the identity of the whistleblower private whether or not the whistleblower submitted it anonymously. The CFTC whistleblowers can get protection against employer retaliation, including suspension, being fired, demotions, harassments, threatening behavior or discriminating behavior as a result of the whistleblower’s involvement in assisting the CFTC.

Whistleblowers who report employment retaliation and have strong evidence to support their claim could be entitled to sue for back pay reinstatement and any other damages.

Example of Violations of the Commodities Exchange Act

Enforcement actions have increased the visibility of the CFTC in recent years including publishing information about numerous violations of the law.

Some of these violations can include interbank interest rate manipulation, credit default swap manipulation or foreign currency rate manipulation.

Original Information for a CEA Whistleblower: What is It?

The original information per the Commodities Exchange Act means that the information shared by the whistleblower is derived from the independent analysis or knowledgeable whistleblower and is not yet known to the CFTC from any other source unless that whistleblower is also the original source of the information.

Furthermore, in order for a whistleblower’s details to be classified as original, it must not be exclusively derived from an allegation that was made in a government report, administrative hearing, investigation, a hearing, audit or the news media; unless that whistleblower was also the source of the information. If the government is successful in pursuing claims under the Commodities Exchange Act, monetary sanctions might be assessed that also entitle that whistleblower to a portion of the award.

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