BEFORE you do this Step:
- You have identified a potential violation of the Commodity Exchange Act.
- You understand the confidentiality and anti-retaliation protections provided in the Whistleblower Rules.
What to expect NEXT:
- If you voluntarily provided original information that led to a successful enforcement action, you may be eligible for an award.
- Subscribe to receive alerts to new Notices of Covered Action, and monitor the webpage periodically.
- Monitor the webpages of other regulatory agencies for potential related actions.
Complete Form TCR
(Tip, Complaint or Referral)
Refer to the Privacy Act Statement, Submission Procedures, and Completion Instructions included with the Form TCR as needed to complete this form.
- A Form TCR 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 TCR and mail or fax the completed form to:
Commodity Futures Trading Commission
1155 21st Street, NW
Washington, DC 20581
How to Become a Whistleblower
A whistleblower is an individual or group of individuals who submits a tip, complaint, or referral on a Form TCR that contains information about a potential violation of the Commodity Exchange Act. Whistleblowers can be anyone: corporate insiders, market observers, investors, customers, and fraud victims. Entities cannot be a whistleblower.
Information provided by a whistleblower could lead the Commission to open a new investigation, re-open a closed investigation, pursue a new line of inquiry in an ongoing investigation, or significantly contribute to the success of an enforcement action. This could result in a successful enforcement action or a related action, which could be brought by another governmental authority. Only those whistleblowers who submit information before the CFTC contacts them will be eligible for an award. In order for information to be voluntarily submitted, it must be submitted before the CFTC or certain other authorities request, inquire, or demand information from the whistleblower related to the original information being provided.
Individuals can submit a tip anonymously, with or without a lawyer’s help. Because the CFTC may need to contact a whistleblower for more information, individuals should provide some means of contact, such as an email address or telephone number. Likewise, there are detailed requirements for submitting an award application anonymously. If you have any questions about submitting anonymously, you are encouraged to contact the Whistleblower Office before you file.
Whether or not an individual submits anonymously, the CFTC is committed to protecting the identities of whistleblowers. The CFTC treats information learned during the course of an investigation – including the identity of sources – as non-public and confidential.
The exception to this policy is that in an administrative or court proceeding, the CFTC may be required to produce documents or other information which would reveal a whistleblower’s identity. Likewise, the CFTC may also provide the information provided by whistleblowers, subject to confidentiality requirements, to other government or regulatory entities.
Prerequisites & Eligibility Requirements
The Whistleblower Rules specify the prerequisites and eligibility requirements. Prerequisites include:
- Whistleblower information must be provided voluntarily, prior to a request, inquiry, or demand for information
- The information must be original information not previously known to the Commission, but if the whistleblower is the original source of the information, it would be deemed original information
- The information must have led to a successful resolution of CFTC action or a related action
- The whistleblower, upon CFTC staff’s request, provides certain additional information
- If the CFTC grants an award application, the CFTC will contact the whistleblower regarding payment details
Related Frequently Asked Questions
Who can be a whistleblower?
A whistleblower can be any individual who sends the Commission a Form TCR containing information about a potential violation of the Commodity Exchange Act. A whistleblower can be anyone from a corporate officer or insider, to a trader or market observer, to an investor or fraud victim. A company or other entity is not eligible to be a whistleblower. Rules 165.2(p), 165.3
However, not every whistleblower is eligible for an award. To be eligible, a whistleblower must "voluntarily" provide the Commission with "original information" about a violation. Those terms are explained below. Also, certain persons – including certain government and self-regulatory personnel, and persons convicted of a crime related to the conduct at issue in the whistleblower matter – are ineligible for an award. Rules 165.5(a), 165.6
How could my information lead to a successful enforcement action?
Your information could lead the Commission to open a new examination or investigation, re-open a previously closed investigation or pursue a new line of inquiry in connection with an ongoing investigation, and the Commission could bring a successful enforcement action based at least in part on the information you provided. Additionally, your information could relate to an ongoing examination or investigation and significantly contribute to the success of an enforcement action. If your information leads to a successful enforcement action you may be eligible for an award. Rule 165.2(i)
I work at a company with an internal compliance process. Do I have to report violations of the Commodity Exchange Act internally first to be eligible for a whistleblower award?
You do not have to report internally to be eligible for a whistleblower award, and you may submit your information directly to the Commission at any time.
If you choose to report internally first, your information will be deemed to be submitted to the Commission on the date you reported it internally if you also report it to the Commission within 120 days of that date. Under these circumstances, the Commission will consider your place in line for determining whether your information is "original information" to be the date you reported it internally. In addition, if your company conducts an investigation and reports the results to the Commission, you may benefit from the information that the company’s investigation reveals when the Commission considers whether you should receive an award and what percentage you should receive. Rule 165.2(i)(3)
Also, the fact that you reported your information internally, and the extent to which you helped your company uncover a violation, will be considered as factors that may increase the size of any award that you are eligible to receive. Rule 165.9(b)(4)
How do I submit a whistleblower tip to the CFTC?
To become a whistleblower, you must complete and submit a Form TCR either electronically, by mail, or by facsimile.
You may file a Form TCR electronically by clicking on the Submit a Tip button at the top of the page, or by clicking on the "File a Tip or Complaint" button on the right-hand side of the CFTC’s homepage, www.cftc.gov, and selecting the option for the Whistleblower Program.
You may also mail or fax a printed Form TCR to:
Commodity Futures Trading Commission
1155 21st Street, NW
Washington, DC 20581
Fax: (202) 418-5975
Can I submit my whistleblower tip anonymously?
Yes. You can file your Form TCR anonymously, with or without a lawyer’s help. Because the Commission may need to contact you for more information, and because you are required to cooperate with the Commission while the Commission is investigating a matter, you should provide some means of contact, such as an email address or telephone number. Also, there are detailed requirements for making an award claim anonymously. Rules 165.3(c), 165.4(b), 165.7(c)
If you have any questions about filing anonymously, the Commission strongly encourages you to contact the Whistleblower Office by sending an email to email@example.com or calling the Whistleblower Hotline at (866) 873-5675 before you file.
Will the CFTC keep my identity confidential?
Whether or not you seek anonymity, the Commission is committed to protecting your identity. For example, the Commission will not disclose your identity in response to requests under the Freedom of Information Act. As a general rule, the Commission treats information learned during the course of an investigation – including the identity of sources – as non-public and confidential.
There are, however, limits on the Commission's ability to shield your identity. For example, in an administrative or court proceeding, the Commission may be required to produce documents or other information which would reveal your identity. In addition, as part of the Commission's ongoing investigatory responsibilities, the Commission may use information you have provided during the course of an investigation. In appropriate circumstances, the Commission may also provide information, subject to confidentiality requirements, to other governmental or regulatory entities. Rule 165.4