Whistleblower Litigation

CFTC Whistleblowers

Hagens Berman has represented several CFTC whistleblowers and has developed a strong understanding of how to best develop and present a CFTC whistleblower complaint.

The Dodd-Frank CFTC Whistleblower Program, 7 U.S.C. § 26, provides substantial monetary rewards to whistleblowers who voluntarily provide original information to the Commodities and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) where such information results in a successful enforcement action with monetary sanctions exceeding $1 million. Read more about Rewards for CFTC Whistleblowers.

The CFTC is the federal agency that regulates the trading of futures and options contracts, including swaps, in the United States and takes action against persons and entities suspected of fraudulent or illegal activity in those markets.

Most law firms marketing themselves to CFTC whistleblowers lack a background in this area or general financial fraud, and have rarely – if ever – investigated or litigated fraud in futures, options or swaps. Hagens Berman has litigated in these areas for more than two decades with great success. Our firm of more than 70 attorneys in nine national offices has the resources and expertise to investigate, develop and effectively advocate for your whistleblower claim. Contact our legal team today.

Hagens Berman represents several whistleblower actions under the CFTC and SEC Whistleblower Programs, including representation of high-profile market expert Haim Bodek, and marshals its significant nationwide resources and expertise in financial fraud to best present whistleblower matters to the SEC and CFTC.

The CFTC strongly encourages whistleblowers to provide original information on violations of the Commodities Exchange Act and CFTC Regulations and rewards whistleblowers for coming forward. Whistleblowers are encouraged to assist the CFTC in identifying, investigating and prosecuting potential violations in the markets under its jurisdiction.

If you have information regarding fraud in the markets for commodity futures, options or swap arrangements, you could be rewarded for reporting it.

What Types of Fraud Does the CFTC Regulate?

The CFTC’s Division of Enforcement investigates and prosecutes violations of the Commodities Exchange Act and CFTC Regulations involving commodity futures or option trading on domestic commodity exchanges and the marketing and handling of commodity investments. Foreign currency trading (or “Forex” trading), for example, has become the “fraud du jour,” according to Michael Dunn of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

The CFTC’s Division of Enforcement investigates and prosecutes a large number of cases across several different areas of commodity futures and options trading fraud, including fraud, market manipulation, and abuse of commodity derivatives and swaps that threaten market integrity and public confidence. Whistleblowers are encouraged to contact experienced counsel with any information regarding fraud in these areas. Some of the common areas of CFTC enforcement include:

  • Market manipulation
  • Ponzi, pyramid or other schemes
  • Other fraud schemes in connection with commodities, futures and swaps
  • False or fraudulent statements

The CFTC encourages whistleblowers to act on any information of suspicious or fraudulent behavior by contacting the agency, which is best accomplished by working with our experienced and well-resourced whistleblower legal team.

Read more about the CFTC Whistleblower Program.

CFTC Whistleblower Rewards and Protections

The Dodd-Frank CFTC Whistleblower Program, 7 U.S.C. § 26, provides substantial monetary rewards to whistleblowers who voluntarily provide original information to the Commodities and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) where such information results in a successful enforcement action with monetary sanctions exceeding $1 million.

When these requirements are satisfied, the Commodities and Futures Trading Commission shall pay an award to one or more whistleblowers in an aggregate amount not less than 10 percent or more than 30 percent of what has been collected by the CFTC of the monetary sanctions imposed in a given case, under regulations adopted by the CFTC. Importantly, these rewards can also include recoveries for any related actions that might be brought by certain other federal or state authorities, including the Department of Justice.

The CFTC has limited resources, however and will most often investigate whistleblower complaints that are actionable, timely, clearly-reasoned and well-presented to the agency.

The CFTC’s whistleblower program—created by the Dodd-Frank Act—allows for the payment of monetary awards to whistleblowers and provides anti-retaliation protections for whistleblowers who share information with or assist the CFTC.

CFTC Whistleblowers are also protected: with anonymity, confidentiality and anti-retaliation protections. The CFTC Whistleblower Program permits whistleblowers to file an anonymous whistleblower complaint with help of qualified counsel. These complaints are confidential, and that protection is taken most seriously by the CFTC. Lastly, the CFTC whistleblower law includes an anti-retaliation provision allowing an employee to sue an employer who retaliates against him or her for whistleblowing activity.

On May 20, 2014, the CFTC paid its first award under the program to an anonymous whistleblower. This six-figure award reflects the first of many investigations that will result in whistleblower awards in the future. Read more about CFTC Whistleblower Rewards and CFTC Whistleblower Protections.

Hagens Berman's Success in Fighting CFTC Financial Fraud and Other Market Fraud

Our firm, Hagens Berman LLP, has successfully litigated hundreds of cases against some of the nation’s largest corportations and several individuals who committed fraud of various kinds. We have litigated significant securities cases for more than 20 years. This experience includes cases against such giants as Visa, MasterCard, Charles Schwab, entities implicated by the Madoff Scandal, and other large companies with complex financial instruments and investments, such as mortgage-backed securities.

The cases handled by our firm that involve financial fraud of various sorts have resulted in billions of dollars in settlements and fines against large public and private corporations and other bad actors.

In addition to the firm’s expertise in this area, Hagens Berman has worked alongside government officials and regulators for more than 20 years, often retained by those governments, helping our firm establish the credibility necessary to bring important cases to the CFTC. When Hagens Berman brings a claim, it gets attention.

Hagens Berman represents several whistleblower actions under the CFTC and SEC Whistleblower Programs, including representation of high-profile market expert Haim Bodek, and marshals its significant nationwide resources and expertise in financial fraud to best present whistleblower matters to the SEC and CFTC.

If you have any information about possible violations of the Commodities Exchange Act or other CFTC Regulations, you could be rewarded for reporting it.

Becoming a CFTC Whistleblower and Choosing a Law Firm

In order to properly present a claim to the CFTC, a whistleblower needs to select a law firm that understands the complexities of the Commodities Exchange Act and CFTC Regulations, a firm with a national reputation as a leading law firm and one that will assist you in presenting the most comprehensive, well-researched complaint to an already overworked agency. Hagens Berman, with years of experience in whistleblower law, antitrust and securities litigation, and other financial-fraud class-action cases, is well-positioned to best present a complaint on your behalf. According to the CFTC, there has been a marked increase in the volume of unscrupulous activity in the non-bank foreign exchange industry, and the commodity and futures areas generally.

Our firm has worked and continues to work with the CFTC on these whistleblower matters, as well as other law enforcement agencies that may assist in the investigation of your claim. Hagens Berman encourages whistleblowers with information regarding fraud in these markets to contact us to discuss your information with our legal team.

If you have knowledge of CFTC fraud or would like to discuss your whistleblower rights, you can contact our whistleblower team at whistleblower@hbsslaw.com or by filling out the form.