BEFORE this step, be sure:
- You have submitted a tip, complaint, or referral (Form TCR) to the Whistleblower Office
- The CFTC has published a Notice of Covered Action associated with your tip, or there is a final judgment in a Related Action eligible for an award associated with your tip
- The 90-day time limit from the publishing of the Notice of Covered Action or the date of a final order in a Related Action has not passed
What to expect NEXT:
- The Whistleblower Office will confirm in writing that your Form WB-APP has been received and provide you with a confirmation number
- The CFTC may contact you if more information is needed to support your application
- The CFTC will provide you with a Preliminary Determination notifying you whether the Claims Review Staff has recommended your award application be granted or denied
- You can also monitor this website for Final Orders/Award Determinations publications
- The Whistleblower Office will not be able to provide you with an update on the status of your application
Instructions to Complete
To apply for an award, complete and submit a copy of the award application, Form WB-APP (Application for Award For Original Information Submitted Pursuant to Section 23 of the Commodity Exchange Act), to the CFTC Whistleblower Office.
- A Form WB-APP can be submitted either online or via mail or fax. Only one method of submission needs to be completed.
- The online form is best viewed using Internet Explorer (IE) 9 and higher and Firefox 26 and higher. After 65 minutes of inactivity, the online form will timeout, and all data will be lost. You will then need to re-access the form to enter your data again.
To submit via mail or fax, you can download and print the Form WB-APP and mail or fax the completed form to:
Commodity Futures Trading Commission
1155 21st Street, NW
Washington, DC 20581
How to Apply for an Award
Whistleblowers who voluntarily submit original information by filing a Form TCR (Tip, Complaint, or Referral) to the CFTC Whistleblower Office may be eligible to receive between 10% and 30% of the amount of monetary sanctions collected in a CFTC enforcement action or a Related Action. In order to be eligible to receive an award, a whistleblower must have voluntarily provided original information that led to the successful enforcement of the CFTC action or the Related Action.
When the CFTC obtains a final judgment or settlement with monetary sanctions exceeding $1,000,000, the Whistleblower Office will post a "Notice of Covered Action" on the Notices page regarding the judgment or settlement as a signal that the CFTC action is now eligible for potential whistleblower awards. The CFTC does not notify individuals directly about postings of Notices of Covered Action, so individuals should monitor the webpage periodically. You may also sign up for email alerts to new Notices of Covered Actions. Whistleblowers also may apply for an award on a Related Action. The CFTC does not post notices regarding Related Actions. Therefore, whistleblowers should monitor the webpages of other regulatory authorities to determine if there are applicable Related Actions that used whistleblowers' information.
You may apply for an award anonymously. However, you must be represented by counsel in order to do so. Your identity will need to be verified in a form and manner that is acceptable to the Commission prior to the payment of any award.
See the section on Orders Eligible for an Award for more information describing orders for which award applications may be submitted.
The Whistleblower Rules require that individuals apply for an award by submitting a Form WB-APP to the Whistleblower Office within 90 days of the date a Notice of Covered Action is posted on the website, and for Related Actions, within 90 days after a judgment or settlement in the Related Action.
The CFTC considers many factors, including unique facts and circumstances of each case, when determining the amount of an award. If it is determined that an award will be granted, the amount of the total awards to all whistleblowers related to an order will be between 10% and 30% of the amount of the monetary sanctions collected in the CFTC action or Related Actions.
The CFTC may increase the award percentage based on:
- the significance of the information provided to the CFTC to the success of a CFTC action or Related Action;
- the degree of assistance provided by the whistleblower;
- the CFTC's law enforcement interest in deterring violations of the commodities laws by making awards to whistleblowers who provide information that leads to the successful enforcement of these laws; and/or
- whether, and the extent to which, a whistleblower participated in his or her company's internal compliance systems.
The CFTC may reduce the award percentage based on:
- whether a whistleblower was involved in, or culpable for, the conduct reported;
- whether a whistleblower unreasonably delayed reporting a violation to the CFTC; and/or
- whether a whistleblower interfered with his or her company's internal compliance and reporting systems.
Related Frequently Asked Questions
How much money could I receive as a whistleblower?
Provided that you meet all of the program's eligibility criteria, the Commission will pay a total award amount equal to between 10% and 30% of the amount of the monetary sanctions collected in either the CFTC action or a Related Action. In cases involving multiple whistleblowers, the total award amount will still not exceed 30%.
How do I apply for an award?
You must complete a Form WB-APP and submit it electronically, mail it to the address below or fax it to the number below:
Commodity Futures Trading Commission
1155 21st Street, NW
Washington, DC 20581
Fax: (202) 418-5975
No other form of submission will be accepted.
For covered CFTC actions, you must file the form no later than 90 days after the Commission posts a "Notice of Covered Action." For Related Actions related to a Covered Action, you must file the form no later than within 90 days after the later of (1) a judgment in the Related Action and (2) the posting of the Notice of Covered Action. Rule 165.7. Where judgment in a Related Action comes after a timely application for the Covered Action, you will need to file an additional Form WB-APP for the Related Action. Rule 165.7
How will I know when to apply for an award?
When the CFTC obtains a final judgment that contains more than $1 million in monetary sanctions, the Commission will post a "Notice of Covered Action" on the Notices of Covered Actions page.
The Commission does not notify individuals directly about Notices of Covered Action, so you should monitor the webpage periodically. You can also sign up for the Whistleblower Program's Email Subscription Service to receive alerts to new Notices of Covered Action. The Commission does not provide or post any notification for Related Actions.
I provided information to the CFTC before the enactment of the Dodd-Frank Act on July 21, 2010. Am I eligible for an award?
No. The Dodd-Frank Act and our Whistleblower Rules make awards available only in connection with information first submitted to the CFTC after July 21, 2010. Commodity Exchange Act § 23(k) and Rule 165.2(k)(4)
I work for a Futures Commission Merchant. Am I eligible for an award?
In many cases, yes. Rule 165.6(a) generally outlines those whistleblowers who are ineligible for an award. Only whistleblowers who work for a "Registered Entity," as that term is defined in the CEA, are precluded from becoming whistleblowers by virtue of their employment, pursuant to Rule 165.6(a)(1). That term does not include a Futures Commission Merchant. See 7 U.S.C. § 1a(29) (2012). A whistleblower who works for a Futures Commission Merchant may therefore be eligible for an award, assuming he or she otherwise meets the eligibility criteria set out in the Whistleblower Rules, including the requirement of Rule 165.2(g)(4) that information about a potential violation not have been learned by the whistleblower who is an officer, director, trustee or partner in connection with the entity's processes for identifying, reporting, and addressing possible violations of law.
What constitutes a "Related Action"?
A Related Action is a successful judicial or administrative action brought by certain other specified entities that is based on the original information provided by a whistleblower that led to the successful enforcement of a CFTC action. Those entities may include the U.S. Department of Justice (for both civil and criminal matters); other federal departments or agencies, like the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; state criminal or appropriate civil agencies; registered entities, registered futures associations, or self-regulatory organizations, like the National Futures Association; and foreign futures authorities. The Related Action must be based on the same original information that the whistleblower voluntarily submitted to the Commission and led to a successful resolution of the Commission judicial or administrative action. Rule 165.11, 165.2(m). In other words, if your information did not lead to a CFTC action, then you will not be eligible for an award on a Related Action.
May I apply for an award anonymously?
Yes. You can file for an award claim anonymously but in order to do so, you must be represented by counsel. Your identity will need to be verified in a form and manner that is acceptable to the Commission prior to the payment of any award. Rules 165.3(c), 165.4(b), 165.7(c)
Should I expect to receive updates on the status of my award claim?
No. The Whistleblower Office cannot provide you with an update on the status of your award claim. All Form WB-APP applications are reviewed in due course and as resources allow. If the Whistleblower Office needs additional information related to your award claim, we will contact you.
What happens if the wrongdoer does not pay all of the sanctions ordered?
Where sanctions collected in a Covered Action or Related Action are less than the full amount ordered, any whistleblower award will amount to the percentage determined by the Commission multiplied by the sanctions collected. Sanctions collected in a Covered Action or Related Action are only used for purposes of calculating awards to whistleblowers. The dollars that actually go to paying those awards come from the CFTC Customer Protection Fund and do not reduce the amounts otherwise ordered to go to harmed investors. A whistleblower remains eligible for a pro rata award payout, even if the Commission is unable to collect the full amount of sanctions ordered. If at a later point in time the Commission collects more money under a Covered Action, then the whistleblower will get the same percentage of the additional amount collected.