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Harry Cassin Publisher and Editor

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Julie DiMauro Contributing Editor

Thomas Fox Contributing Editor

Marc Alain Bohn Contributing Editor

Bill Waite Contributing Editor

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Wednesday
May212014

CFTC pays $240,000 to first whistleblower

The acting chairman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said Tuesday the agency will make its first award to a whistleblower under the program created by the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010.

The whistleblower will receive about $240,000 for providing information about violations of the Commodity Exchange Act, Mark Wetjen said.

“I am pleased to announce this first award which illustrates that the CFTC’s Whistleblower Program is a valuable resource for the American public,” Wetjen said.

Under Dodd-Frank, whistleblowers who report violations of the Commodity Exchange Act are eligible for awards if the information leads to an enforcement action with more than $1 million in sanctions.

Whistleblowers can be awarded 10 to 30 percent of the money collected.

The mission of the CFTC "is to protect market participants and the public from fraud, manipulation, abusive practices and systemic risk related to derivatives -- both futures and swaps -- and to foster transparent, open, competitive and financially sound markets."

The CFTC said can also pay awards based on financial sanctions collected by other agencies in actions "related to a successful CFTC action . . .  and based on information provided by a CFTC whistleblower."

Gretchen Lowe, the acting director of the CFTC’s enforcement division, said the "whistleblower [in this case] provided specific, timely and credible information that led to the [CFTC] bringing important enforcement actions.”

The agency didn't identify the whistleblower or say who was named in the complaint.

The Dodd-Frank Act prohibits retaliation by employers against whistleblowers who provide the CFTC with information about possible violations.

The CFTC's May 20, 2014 release is here.

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Richard L. Cassin is the Publisher and Editor of the FCPA Blog. He can be contacted here.