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CFTC Foreign Corrupt Practices And Whistleblowers

Recently, the SEC announced that it has paid a $3M award to a group of whistleblowers who provided information to the agency about an alleged securities law violation that led to an SEC investigation. While the SEC gets a fair amount of attention for these kinds of cases, it’s not the only agency that not only investigates wrongdoing and pays whistleblowers for their help.The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is a federal governing agency that regulates commodity futures and option markets in the US. Although the futures market began primarily in the agricultural sector, the futures industry has become much more complex, and the agency’s mandate has been expanded since its inception in 1974.Recently, the SEC announced that it has paid a $3M award to a group of whistleblowers who provided information to the agency about an alleged securities law violation that led to an SEC investigation. While the SEC gets a fair amount of attention for these kinds of cases, it’s not the only agency that not only investigates wrongdoing and pays whistleblowers for their help.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is a federal governing agency that regulates commodity futures and option markets in the US. Although the futures market began primarily in the agricultural sector, the futures industry has become much more complex, and the agency’s mandate has been expanded since its inception in 1974.

The CFTC also has a whistleblower program similar to the SEC’s that offers financial incentives for individuals who provide information about potential violations of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) that leads to a successful enforcement action. Protections for whistleblowers include privacy, anti-retaliation and confidentiality. Additional information on receiving an award is available here.

One of the many areas of misconduct that the CFTC is interested in is foreign corrupt practices. That is, seeking to influence foreign officials improperly with bribes and other incentives. Individuals and companies that engage in foreign corrupt practices could be found liable for things like fraud, false reporting, manipulation or other CEA violations.

Some of these violations may include:

  • Bribes paid out of investor funds to secure business such as trading, advising, and/or dealing in swaps and derivatives
  • Unfair and corrupt practices that affect the prices in the commodity markets that drive US derivative prices
  • Corrupt practices that are intended to manipulate benchmarks and report incorrect pricing.

Whether you’re an employee, an observer of or a victim of foreign corrupt practices, you can qualify as a CFTC whistleblower. If your information leads to a successful enforcement action, you may be eligible to receive between 10 and 30 percent of the collected sanctions. Additional information is available at the CFTC’s Whistleblower website.

Are You A Whistleblower?

Silver Law Group is a nationally-recognized securities law firm headquartered in South Florida representing investors worldwide with their claims for losses due to securities and investment fraud. The firm has successfully recovered multi-million dollar awards for its clients through securities arbitration and the courts. To contact Scott L. Silver to discuss your legal matter, call toll-free (800) 975-4345 or e-mail him at SSilver@silverlaw.com.

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