The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced on Tuesday, July 26 that it would award $50,000 to a whistleblower who voluntarily provided the organization enough information to proceed with an enforcement action. The award marks only the fourth since the program’s inception in 2010. Though the SEC and CFTC whistleblower reward programs were both established by the Dodd-Frank Act with the same intent of incentivizing whistleblowers to report violations voluntarily to the government, they have since diverged in their award totals. Whereas the SEC’s program has doled out more than $85 million to 32 whistleblowers, the CFTC has only issued four awards – three of which were announced within the last 10 months.
Why the disparity? Compared to the SEC, the CFTC whistleblower program’s scope is relatively limited. Despite this, the surge in awards over the past year could be a sign of growth yet to come. This past April, the CFTC awarded a whopping $10 million to a whistleblower. For a comprehensive guide on the CFTC whistleblower program, check out Katz, Marshall & Banks partner Lisa Banks’ CFTC Whistleblower Practice Guide.