(TheIndependentStar.com) – In October, the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced it gave out its largest award in history to one whistleblower. While details have been kept under wraps in order to protect the person’s identity, the story shows the whistleblower program has achieved great success.
Without details about the case or the recipient, the CFTC announced on October 21 it had awarded almost $200 million to a whistleblower. The person provided information that allowed the CFTC to complete an investigation and bring sanctions.
The law firm of Kirby McInerney LLP represented the whistleblower and put out a statement about the award. The attorneys said their client provided “extensive information, documents, and trading information in 2012.” The case concerned the “manipulation of crucial financial benchmarks used by global banks.”
Benchmarks act as a way for the industry to determine the pricing of investment products. Illegal manipulation of benchmarks could lead to serious ramifications for commodities markets.
The firm went on to say that this award represents a percentage of the recoveries made in the case by authorities.
Inside sources identified the whistleblower to Reuters as a former Deutsche Bank employee. The CFTC, Kirby McInerney LLP, and the bank all declined to comment on the identity of the beneficiary or other details of the case.
Problems with the Whistleblower Program
While the considerable award was representative of the person’s contributions to an important investigation, it also caused financial hardship for the CFTC’s program. Its future was in jeopardy until President Joe Biden signed an emergency bill into law on July 6.
The funding was a bipartisan effort to cover operating expenses and future awards, and will last until October 1, 2022. At that time, lawmakers will need to reassess the program’s finances and make determinations about additional funding.
The law fast-tracked its way through Congress, with the Senate passing it on May 28 and the House of Representatives approving it on June 23. The swift movement highlights the importance of the program for both parties.
The CFTC’s Whistleblower Program provides protection for people who come forward to expose wrongdoing in the financial sector. Through the program, individuals can feel confident about sharing information that otherwise would go undiscovered.
Large rewards, such as the one in this case, can put a strain on the program, but they do encourage people to come forward. With bipartisan support, whistleblower protections are likely to see more success in tackling financial scams and corruption in the future.
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