This article is the third in a series of four primers on the key legal regimes incentivizing and protecting whistleblowers who report fraud: the False Claims Act (FCA), the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) whistleblower programs. Both the FCA and IRS whistleblower program have been in place since the mid-1800s, but have recently experienced a resurgence after undergoing significant amendments. The SEC and CFTC whistleblower programs, on the other hand, were recently created through the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the Dodd-Frank Act).

On balance, the FCA and three core whistleblower programs provide avenues through which individuals can report fraud occurring across a wide swath of industries. Owing largely to increased public awareness, the number of whistleblower-initiated cases and tips submitted to the whistleblower programs have reached unprecedented heights in recent years. It has therefore become imperative for attorneys, potential whistleblowers, and potential defendants to become familiar with the applicable laws, their backgrounds, causes of action, available damages and protections against retaliation. This four-part series combines perspectives from whistleblower and defense counsel to provide measured insight into each of the four main whistleblower regimes. In this third part, we discuss the CFTC whistleblower program.

Background and Legislative History

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