CFTC Whistleblower Award for Benchmark Rate Manipulation by Global Banks
The law firm of Kirby McInerney LLP announces that its whistleblower client has been awarded nearly $200 million by the whistleblower program of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”). Today’s CFTC whistleblower award is the largest, publicly-announced single whistleblower award arising under the Dodd-Frank whistleblower reward programs (the CFTC and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”)) as well as under other whistleblower programs including the IRS and the federal and state false claims acts.
Kirby McInerney’s client provided extensive information, documents, and trading information in 2012 that catalyzed investigations by the CFTC, a U.S. federal regulator, and a foreign regulator of manipulation of crucial financial benchmarks used by global banks. These benchmarks are references used as the basis for the pricing of fixed income futures, options, swaps and other derivative products traded and cleared on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (“CME”) and the Chicago Board of Trade (“CBOT”). The CFTC is the government agency charged with protecting commodities markets and enforcing the Commodity Exchange Act (the “CEA”) and related regulations.
“Manipulation of financial benchmarks enriches manipulators at the expense of market participants,” said David Kovel, Kirby McInerney’s lead partner on the matter. Mr. Kovel, a former commodities trader, represents plaintiffs and whistleblowers in matters relating to the manipulation of commodities, securities, and related derivatives markets.
Following an award determination process, the CFTC awarded Kirby McInerney’s whistleblower nearly $200 million for directly contributing to the recoveries obtained by the CFTC, a U.S. federal regulator, and a foreign regulator. As noted in the CFTC’s final award determination, the award represents a percentage of recoveries achieved in connection with the CFTC as well as the related settlements.
“We are pleased that the CFTC has recognized that the whistleblower deserved a substantial award and Kirby McInerney fought hard to ensure that its client was recognized under the current award system. Today, we can say the system works,” says Mr. Kovel. “The whistleblower laws recognize the fundamental truth that incentivizing persons with knowledge to come forward to report on frauds benefits the public as a whole by disclosing violations that likely would never have been caught,” Mr. Kovel continued.
Kirby McInerney LLP is a New York-based law firm concentrating in securities, antitrust, whistleblower, and consumer litigation. The firm’s efforts on behalf of investors, consumers and the government have resulted in recoveries totaling billions of dollars. The firm represents whistleblowers in numerous programs, including in the SEC, CFTC and IRS whistleblower programs and in cases under the federal and state False Claims Acts. Additional information about the firm can be found at Kirby McInerney LLP’s general website at http://www.kmllp.com, and its whistleblower website at https://whistleblower.kmllp.com/.