The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said it will pay its biggest-ever whistleblower award of $30 million to an informant who provided the agency with key information that led to a successful enforcement action.
Although the CFTC does not name the whistleblower or provide details about the case in its July 12 announcement, the Wall Street Journal identifies him as Edward Siedle, a former Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) lawyer who does forensic investigations in the investment management industry.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Mr. Siedle alerted the CFTC and SEC to conflicts of interest at JPMorgan Chase.
Mr. Siedle told the Wall Street Journal that he became aware of regulatory violations within JPMorgan Chase in 2011 and reported the problems to financial regulators. His tips led to federal enforcement actions against the bank that resulted in a $267 million settlement with the SEC and a $200 million settlement with the CFTC.
The CFTC became involved in the case because some of the client money was in commodity-related investments, the Wall Street Journal reported.
In addition to the $30 million award, Mr. Siedle is also set to collect a $48 million whistleblower award from the SEC. Both agencies announced the awards in February but did not say at the time that the awards were going to the same person. Neither agency discloses information about whistleblower awards that could directly or indirectly reveal the identity of informants.
The $30 million is the fifth whistleblower payout by the CFTC since its whistleblower program was established by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010.
“The Whistleblower Program has become an integral component in the agency’s enforcement arsenal,” CFTC Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo said in its announcement. “We hope that an award of this magnitude will incentivize whistleblowers to come forward with valuable information and provide notice to market participants that individuals are reporting quality information about violations of the Commodity Exchange Act.”