The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has given its first whistleblower award in the wake of the enactment of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and its bounty program. The regulator awarded $240,000 to a person who voluntarily gave information that allowed the CFTC to file an enforcement action resulting in sanctions and a judgment of more than $1 million.
Under the Dodd-Frank bounty program, whistleblowers of successful claims may be entitled to 10-30% of what is recovered. Prior to this whistleblower award, the CFTC had denied 25 award claims because: the persons provided the original data prior to Dodd-Frank’s passage; they failed to submit necessary paperwork, they gave over the information because the CFTC asked for it and not voluntarily; or the information they provided did not compel the regulator to open or widen a probe or contribute much to any successful Commission matter.
According to business writer William D. Cohan in his article on Wall Street whistleblowers in FT Magazine, whistleblowing—especially on Wall Street—requires great courage. Many find that traders, bankers and executives who raise questions about securities fraud end up losing their job or find themselves the victim of some other type of retaliation.