CFTC Whistleblower Attorney
Confidentially Report Fraud or Misconduct to the CFTC with the Help of an Experienced Federal Whistleblower Attorney
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is tasked with regulating the commodity markets in the United States. This is an extraordinary undertaking, and it is not one that the CFTC can handle effectively on its own. Instead, the CFTC relies on whistleblowers to come forward, and the CFTC’s whistleblower program—established under the Dodd-Frank Act—provides whistleblowers with strong protections and clear legal rights.
If you have information that would help the CFTC achieve its mission of protecting investors and banking customers, it is important that you speak with a CFTC whistleblower lawyer about coming forward. At Oberheiden P.C, we represent CFTC whistleblowers nationwide. Our whistleblower lawyers can determine if you are eligible for the Dodd-Frank Act’s whistleblower protections; and, if you are, we can work with the CFTC on your behalf. We can also protect your identity throughout the process; and, if you become eligible for whistleblower compensation under the Dodd-Frank Act, we can assist with securing your award.
Disclosing “Original Information” to the CFTC as a Whistleblower
One of the requirements for qualifying as a CFTC whistleblower is having “original information” about a violation of the Dodd-Frank Act (or another statute or regulation falling within the CFTC’s enforcement jurisdiction). As the CFTC explains, “original information” can be either:
- Information that is not known to the CFTC and is “derived from . . . your independent knowledge (information in your possession that is not generally known or available to the public);” or,
- Information that is not known to the CFTC and is “derived from . . . your independent analysis (your examination and evaluation of information that may be publicly available but which reveals information that is not generally known).”
To qualify as a CFTC whistleblower, you do not necessarily need to be the first person to come forward with the information you have in your possession. But, if someone has come forward previously, you must be able to show that you are the “original source” of the information. As stated in the CFTC’s regulations, the Commission “will consider [a] whistleblower to be an ‘original source’ of the same information that the Commission obtains from another source if the information the whistleblower provide satisfies the definition of original information and the other source obtained the information from the whistleblower or the whistleblower’s representative.”
Another requirement for qualifying as a CFTC whistleblower is that your disclosure must be voluntary. This means that you must make your disclosure “before the Commission [or Congress or another regulatory agency] sends you, your lawyer, or your employer a request, inquiry or demand for the information.”
Submitting a Tip, Complaint, or Referral (TCR) Form to the CFTC
The process for submitting a whistleblower complaint to the CFTC begins with filing a Tip, Complaint, or Referral (TCR) Form. This is a complex and lengthy form, and you must complete it correctly in order to secure whistleblower status. You must also submit supporting documentation with your TCR Form that substantiates your allegations—and that is sufficient to convince the CFTC that an investigation is warranted.
As a result, the process of serving as a CFTC whistleblower actually begins well before you click to access the TCR Form on the CFTC’s website. Before you put the time and effort into completing the TCR Form, it is critical to ensure that you have everything you need. This is just one of several areas in which a CFTC whistleblower attorney at Oberheiden P.C. can help. When you contact us, we will guide you through the process as far as you want to go, assisting with:
- Maintaining Strict Confidentiality of Your Identity and Information – We will hold all information you share with us in strict confidence. This includes your identity. Our attorneys will not share any information with the CFTC unless you explicitly authorize us to do so.
- Determining if You Qualify as a CFTC Whistleblower – Upon reviewing the information you provide us, we will determine if you qualify as a CFTC whistleblower. If necessary, we can make contact with the CFTC at this stage to determine if you will be considered an “original source” of the information you are thinking about disclosing.
- Helping You Decide Whether to Blow the Whistle – Based on this assessment, we will help you decide whether to blow the whistle. While blowing the whistle is important, it is ultimately up to you to decide whether to come forward. Our attorneys will provide you with the information, advice, and insights you need to make an informed decision.
- Assembling Your Documentation – If you decide to come forward, we will assemble your documentation to submit to the CFTC with your TCR Form. Our attorneys will organize, annotate, and summarize your documentation to facilitate the CFTC’s review and help expedite the next steps in the process.
- Preparing Your TCR Form – If you decide to come forward, we will also prepare your TCR Form. It is critical that this is done correctly, so it is important that you work with an experienced CFTC whistleblower lawyer. We will meticulously prepare your disclosure and review it with you in detail before submitting it to the CFTC.
- Communicating with the CFTC – Once we initiate your whistleblower complaint, we will communicate with the CFTC on your behalf. Our attorneys will play an active role in the CFTC’s investigation and its decision regarding whether to pursue civil or criminal enforcement action.
- Protecting Your Rights as Necessary – Our attorneys will also protect your rights as necessary. We will work with the CFTC to protect your identity; and, if your employer discerns your identity and retaliates against you, we will take all necessary legal action on your behalf (though the need for this is unlikely). If you become eligible for a CFTC whistleblower award, we will work to collect your award on your behalf.
We provide all of these services at no out-of-pocket cost. Our CFTC whistleblower attorneys provide representation on a contingency-fee basis, which means that our fees are paid by the federal government if the information you disclose leads to a successful enforcement action and whistleblower award.
FAQs: Working with a CFTC Whistleblower Attorney
What Types of Violations Can (and Should) CFTC Whistleblowers Report?
The CFTC accepts whistleblower complaints that allege violations of the Dodd-Frank Act, Commodity Exchange Act (CEA), and all of the various other statutes and regulations that fall within the Commission’s enforcement jurisdiction. Some examples of the types of violation that whistleblowers can report include:
- Abusive commodity derivative and swap transactions
- Commodity and futures market manipulation
- Foreign exchange market (Forex) trading scams
- Fraud schemes involving commodities, futures, derivatives, and swaps (i.e., spoofing)
- Manipulation of LIBOR, ISDAFIX, or other benchmark rates
- Off-exchange transactions
- Ponzi schemes and pyramid schemes
- Submitting false information to the CFTC
- Violating CFTC orders
- Other types of corporate fraud that violate the CEA, Dodd-Frank Act, or CFTC regulations
If you believe you may have any information that would be of interest to the CFTC, you should speak with a CFTC whistleblower attorney promptly. Your attorney will be able to determine if you qualify as a whistleblower and help you make informed decisions about your next steps.
Can I Get in Trouble for Reporting Information to the CFTC?
You are entitled to confidentiality as a CFTC whistleblower; and, if your employer discerns your identity, it cannot legally retaliate against you. If you have concerns about potentially being implicated in the violation you are thinking about disclosing, this is a factor that you will need to discuss with a CFTC whistleblower attorney before making your disclosure.
Can an Attorney Help Me File a CFTC Whistleblower Complaint Anonymously?
Yes. While the CFTC will protect your identity if you disclose it, you have the option of submitting your whistleblower complaint anonymously. As the CFTC explains, “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 ongoing cooperation while the Commission is investigating a matter is a factor in determining any award amount, you should provide some means of contact . . . . Also, there are detailed requirements for making an award claim anonymously.”
How Long Do I Have to Report a Violation to the CFTC?
The statutes of limitations for federal violations vary, and determining the applicable statute of limitations can be surprisingly complicated. In any case, it is generally best to report a violation to the CFTC as soon as possible.
How Can a CFTC Whistleblower Attorney Help?
From protecting your identity to assisting with the CFTC’s investigation and helping you claim your whistleblower award (if applicable), there are numerous ways an experienced CFTC whistleblower attorney can help you. If you are thinking about blowing the whistle, we strongly encourage you to contact Oberheiden P.C. for more information.
Speak with a Senior CFTC Whistleblower Attorney in Confidence
If you need more information about submitting a whistleblower complaint to the CFTC, we invite you to arrange a confidential initial consultation at Oberheiden P.C. Please call 888-680-1745 or tell us how we can reach you online to schedule an appointment with a senior CFTC whistleblower attorney today.