U.S. Code of Federal Regulations

Regulations most recently checked for updates: Oct 23, 2020

§ 165.7 - Procedures for award applications in Commission actions and related actions, and Commission award determinations.

(a) Whenever a Commission judicial or administrative action results in monetary sanctions totaling more than $1,000,000 (i.e., a covered judicial or administrative action) the Commission will publish on the Commission's Web site a “Notice of Covered Action.” Such Notice of Covered Action will be published subsequent to the entry of a final judgment or order that alone, or collectively with other judgments or orders previously entered in the Commission covered administrative or judicial action, exceeds $1,000,000 in monetary sanctions. The Commission will not contact whistleblower claimants directly as to Notices of Covered Actions; prospective claimants should monitor the Commission Web site for such Notices. A whistleblower claimant will have 90 days from the date of the Notice of Covered Action to file a claim for an award based on that action, or the claim will be barred.

(b)(1) To file a claim for a whistleblower award, the whistleblower must file Form WB-APP, Application for Award for Original Information Provided Pursuant to Section 23 of the Commodity Exchange Act. The whistleblower must sign this form as the claimant and submit it to the Commission by mail or fax to Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street NW., Washington, DC 20581, Fax (202) 418-5975, or by completing and submitting the Form WB-APP online and submitting it electronically through the Commission's Web site at https://www.cftc.gov or the Commission's Whistleblower Program Web site at https://www.whistleblower.gov.

(2) The Form WB-APP, including any attachments, must be received by the Commission within 90 calendar days of the date of the Notice of Covered Action or 90 calendar days following the date of a final judgment in a Related Action (or if the final judgment in a Related Action was issued prior to the action meeting the definition of Related Action, within 90 calendar days following the date the action satisfied the definition of Related Action, except in the circumstances described in paragraph (b)(3)(ii) of this section). One Form WB-APP may be filed in response to both a Notice of Covered Action and final judgment in a Related Action if the relevant time periods are applicable.

(3) If a covered judicial or administrative action and Related Action have different final judgment dates or if there is no covered judicial or administrative action connected to a Related Action, a claimant, who wishes to file a claim for an award in both a covered judicial or administrative action and a Related Action, or in a Related Action that does not have a connected covered judicial or administrative action, must follow one of the following procedures depending on that claimant's particular situation.

(i) If a final judgment imposing monetary sanctions in a Related Action has not been entered at the time the claimant submits a claim for an award in connection with a covered judicial or administrative action, the claimant must submit the claim for the Related Action on Form WB-APP within ninety (90) calendar days following the date of issuance of a final judgment in the Related Action.

(ii) If a final judgment in a Related Action has been entered and a Notice of Covered Action for a related covered judicial or administrative action has not been published, a claimant for an award in both the covered judicial or administrative action and Related Action may submit the claims for both the Related Action and the covered judicial or administrative action within ninety (90) days of the date of the Notice of Covered Action. The claims may be submitted on the same Form WB-APP.

(iii) If there is a final judgment in a Related Action that relates to a judicial or administrative action brought by the Commission under the Commodity Exchange Act that is not a covered judicial or administrative action, and therefore there is no Notice of Covered Action, a claimant for an award in connection with the Related Action must submit the claim in connection with the Related Action on Form WB-APP within ninety (90) calendar days following either:

(A) The date of issuance of a final judgment in the Related Action, if that date is after the date of issuance of the final judgment in the related Commission judicial or administrative action; or

(B) The date of issuance of the final judgment in the related Commission judicial or administrative action, i.e., the date the Related Action becomes a Related Action, if the date of issuance of the final judgment in the Related Action precedes the final judgment in the related Commission judicial or administrative action.

(c) If the whistleblower provided the whistleblower's original information to the Commission anonymously pursuant to §§ 165.3 and 165.4 and:

(1) The whistleblower is making the whistleblower's claim for a whistleblower award on a disclosed basis, the whistleblower must disclose the whistleblower's identity on the Form WB-APP. The whistleblower's identity must be verified in a form and manner that is acceptable to the Commission prior to the payment of any award; or

(2) The whistleblower is making the whistleblower's claim for a whistleblower award on an anonymous basis, the whistleblower must be represented by counsel. The whistleblower must provide the whistleblower's counsel with a completed Form WB-APP that is signed by the whistleblower by no later than the date upon which the whistleblower's counsel submits to the Commission a copy of the Form WB-APP that does not disclose the whistleblower's identity and is signed solely by the whistleblower's counsel. In addition, the whistleblower's counsel must retain the signed original of the whistleblower's Form WB-APP in counsel's records. Upon request of the Commission staff, whistleblower's counsel must produce to the Commission the whistleblower's signed original WB-APP and the whistleblower's identity must be verified in a form and manner that is acceptable to the Commission prior to the payment of any award.

(d) A claimant may withdraw a Form WB-APP by submitting a written request to the Whistleblower Office at any time during the review process.

(e)(1) The Whistleblower Office may issue a Proposed Final Disposition for award applications that do not relate to a Notice of Covered Action, a final judgment in a Related Action, or a previously filed Form TCR without presentation of the award claim to the staff designated by the Director of the Division of Enforcement under § 165.15(a)(2) (“Claims Review Staff”). In such instances, the Whistleblower Office will inform the award claimant in writing that the claim does not relate to a Notice of Covered Action, a final judgment in a Related Action, or a previously filed Form TCR and will be rejected unless the claimant provides additional information. The claimant will have 30 days from the date of the written notice to respond and to correct the identified deficiencies. If the claimant does not respond in 30 days or if the response does not include information showing that the WB-APP relates to a Notice of Covered Action, a final judgment in a Related Action, or a previously filed Form TCR the Whistleblower Office will issue a Proposed Final Disposition. The claimant's failure to submit a timely response to the written notice from the Whistleblower Office will constitute a failure to exhaust administrative remedies, and the claimant will be prohibited from pursuing an appeal under § 165.13.

(2) The Whistleblower Office will notify the Claims Review Staff of any Proposed Final Disposition under this paragraph (e). Within thirty (30) calendar days thereafter, any member of the Claims Review Staff may request that the Proposed Final Disposition be reviewed by the Claims Review Staff. If no member of the Claims Review Staff requests such a review within the 30-day period, then the Proposed Final Disposition will become the Final Order of the Commission. In the event that a member of the Claims Review Staff requests a review, the Claims Review Staff will review the record that the Whistleblower Office relied upon in making its determination and either remand to the Whistleblower Office for further action or issue a Final Order of the Commission, which could consist of the Proposed Final Disposition.

(f)(1) In connection with each individual covered judicial or administrative action or final judgment in a Related Action, for which an award application is submitted, once the time for filing any appeals of the covered judicial or administrative action or the final judgment in the Related Action has expired (or, where an appeal is filed of the covered judicial or administrative action, or the final judgment in a Related Action, as applicable, and concluded), the Claims Review Staff designated under § 165.15(a)(2) will evaluate all timely whistleblower award claims submitted on Form WB-APP in response to a Notice of Covered Action, referenced in paragraph (a) of this section, or final judgment in a Related Action in accordance with the criteria set forth in this part.

(2) The Whistleblower Office may require that the claimant provide additional information relating to the claimant's eligibility for an award or satisfaction of any of the conditions for an award, as set forth in § 165.5(b)(2). The Whistleblower Office may also request additional information from the claimant in connection with the claim for an award in a Related Action to demonstrate that the claimant directly (or through the Commission) voluntarily provided the governmental agency, regulatory authority or self-regulatory organization the original information that led to the Commission's successful covered action, and that the information provided by the claimant led to the successful enforcement of the Related Action. The Whistleblower Office may also, in its discretion, seek assistance and confirmation from the other agency in making this determination.

(g)(1) Following Claims Review Staff evaluation, the Claims Review Staff will issue a Preliminary Determination setting forth a preliminary assessment as to whether the claim should be granted or denied and, if granted, setting forth the proposed award percentage amount. The Whistleblower Office will send a copy of the Preliminary Determination to the claimant.

(2) The claimant may contest the Preliminary Determination made by the Claims Review Staff by submitting a written response to the Whistleblower Office setting forth the grounds for the claimant's objection to either the denial of an award or the proposed amount of an award. The response must be in the form and manner that the Whistleblower Office shall require. The claimant may also include documentation or other evidentiary support for the grounds advanced in the claimant's response. The claimant may also request a meeting with the Whistleblower Office within the timeframes provided in this paragraph (g), however such meetings are not required, and the Whistleblower Office may in its sole discretion deny the request.

(i) Before determining whether to contest a Preliminary Determination, the claimant may, within thirty (30) days of the date of the Preliminary Determination, request that the Whistleblower Office make available for the claimant's review the materials from among those set forth in § 165.10 that formed the basis of the Claims Review Staff's Preliminary Determination.

(ii) If the claimant decides to contest the Preliminary Determination, the claimant must submit the claimant's written response and supporting materials setting forth the grounds for the claimant's objection to either the denial of an award or the proposed amount of an award within sixty (60) calendar days of the date of the Preliminary Determination, or if a request to review materials used to make a Preliminary Determination is made pursuant to paragraph (g)(2)(i) of this section, then within sixty (60) calendar days of the Whistleblower Office making those materials available for the claimant's review. The claimant also may request a meeting with the Whistleblower Office within those same sixty (60) calendar days. However, such meetings are not required and the Whistleblower Office may in its sole discretion decline the request.

(h) If the claimant fails to submit a timely response pursuant to paragraph (g) of this section, then the Preliminary Determination will become the Final Order of the Commission (except where the Preliminary Determination recommended an award, in which case the Preliminary Determination will be deemed a Proposed Final Determination for purposes of paragraph (j) of this section). The claimant's failure to submit a timely response contesting a Preliminary Determination will constitute a failure to exhaust administrative remedies, and the claimant will be prohibited from pursuing an appeal under § 165.13.

(i) If the claimant submits a timely response under paragraph (g) of this section, then the Claims Review Staff will consider the issues and grounds advanced in the claimant's response, along with any supporting documentation the claimant provided, and will make its Proposed Final Determination.

(j) The Whistleblower Office will notify the Commission of each Proposed Final Determination. Within thirty (30) calendar days thereafter, any Commissioner may request that the Proposed Final Determination be reviewed by the Commission. If no Commissioner requests such a review within the 30-day period, then the Proposed Final Determination will become the Final Order of the Commission. In the event a Commissioner requests a review, the Commission will review the record that the staff relied upon in making its determinations, including the claimant's submissions to the Whistleblower Office, and issue its Final Order.

(k) A Preliminary Determination, Proposed Final Disposition, or a Proposed Final Determination may be issued only after a review for legal sufficiency by the Office of the General Counsel.

(l) The Office of the Secretariat will serve the claimant with the Final Order of the Commission.

[76 FR 53200, Aug. 25, 2011, as amended at 82 FR 24498, May 30, 2017]