Former SEC Prosecutor
and Wall Street Defense Counsel
As part of its consumer protection mission, the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 creates a process for submitting anonymous tips about wrongdoing in the financial industry to federal regulators. Complaints about fraud and abuse in the commodities markets go to the Commodity Future Trading Commission, the federal agency that regulates that market. Whistleblowers who have information about violations of the Commodity Exchange Act are invited to bring it to the Commission Whistleblower Office—anonymously, if necessary—and allow regulators to do their work. If the CFTC wins a financial penalty of greater than $1 million, the whistleblower can collect a reward.
But there’s a process—and following that process is important if you’d like to collect compensation for the risk you’re taking. At Silver Law and the Law Firm of David R. Chase, we understand the whistleblower process because we know the financial industry, having spent our careers in securities law. We use that experience to give our securities whistleblower clients the best chance we can give them of making a successful claim.The CFTC Whistleblower Process
To actually submit a whistleblower tip, you fill out a form on the Commission’s website or download and print the document to be faxed or mailed. The form asks for details about the entity or person that’s the subject of your complaint, what you are alleging, the details of the commodity transaction(s) and any losses or acknowledgement of fault. You can (and should) provide supporting documents, and the form allows you to warn the agency about which documents could reveal your identity. Our CFTC attorneys know how to draft a whistleblower complaint to maximize the likelihood the CFTC will investigate a claim.
After you submit this information, you may be asked occasionally for more information, which is why the Commission needs some kind of contact information even if you submit your tip anonymously. By using counsel, all contact can be through our attorneys. However, if the case is successful, you are likely to go for long periods without information from the Commission. During those times, investigators are building and bringing a case.
If the case stays with the Commission and results in monetary sanctions of over $1 million, it will eventually result in a public document called a Notice of Covered Action. The Commission maintains a mailing list for distributing these notices and recommends that interested parties sign up to learn about whistleblower awards. If the case is passed to another agency, such as the Department of Justice, you may still be eligible for a whistleblower award, but it won’t be announced on this list.
Once the Notice of Covered Action is posted, or there is a judgment in an action brought by another agency, you have 90 days to file for an award. (Like the whistleblower complaint itself, you can apply anonymously—but you must provide the name of a CFTC whistleblower attorney so that the Commission can reach you.) The Commission will use your application to decide whether you meet the eligibility criteria for an award. If you do, it will award you between 10% and 30% of the award (or possibly less, if the award is split between multiple whistleblowers). Because eligible cases must carry sanctions of $1 million or more, whistleblowers stand to gain a minimum of $100,000. Our attorneys work with the CFTC to help maximize the whistleblower’s recovery.Make Sure Your Whistleblower Complaint Is Heard By The CFTC
Blowing the whistle on illegal practices can be personally risky and carry serious financial consequences. To ensure that your complaint is taken seriously, it helps to have experienced securities whistleblower attorneys by your side. The Law Firm of David R. Chase and the Silver Law Group bring together two experienced securities lawyers and an experienced team. David Chase is a former SEC enforcement attorney who knows what’s valuable to regulators; Scott Silver wrote a primer on SEC whistleblower law, and makes it available on request at no charge. Scott is a leading investors advocate and routinely represents investors in securities arbitration and whistleblowers before the SEC and CFTC. If you’d like to talk to us about your situation and your next steps, don’t hesitate to contact us online or call toll-free at 1-800-975-4345.