Like the SEC, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) has its own whistleblower program. The CFTC Whistleblower Program was created by Congress in 2010 in section 748 of the Dodd Frank Act. The program creates a formal process for whistleblowers to report suspected violations of the Commodity Exchange Act. If the CFTC recovers more than $1 million based on original information submitted by the whistleblower, the whistleblower is entitled to between 10 percent to 30 percent of the amount recovered.
The CFTC Whistleblower Program operates similarly to the SEC Whistleblower Program, except its jurisdiction covers violations of the Commodity Exchange Act, not violations of securities laws. Misconduct actionable under this program includes fraud in connection with futures contracts, certain option and swap contracts, and foreign exchange contracts. Actionable misconduct includes:
- Misrepresentations or omissions made in connection with the sale of a futures, options, swaps, or foreign exchange contract;
- Manipulation of futures, options, swaps, or foreign exchange markets; and
- Insider trading involving futures, options, swaps, or foreign exchange contracts.
Similar to the SEC Whistleblower Program, the CFTC Whistleblower Program differs from the False Claims Act in that (1) there is no need to prove fraud against the government, (2) there is no private right of action, and (3) the claims are not filed in court, but with the CFTC. Further, like the SEC program, the rules governing submission of claims with the CFTC are technical, and if not followed, a whistleblower could lose his or her right to an award. Therefore, it is critical that a whistleblower submit a claim through a qualified whistleblower attorney.
See full text of section 748 of the Dodd Frank Act (codified at 7 U.S.C. § 26)