TELG Managing Principal R. Scott Oswald Forecasts Strong Role for Whistleblowers in CFTC Oversight of Cross-Border Swaps

Posted on March 7, 2013

Despite dialing back its plans to police cross-border swaps — a sophisticated form of derivatives trading — the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission still will rely on whistleblowers in its international enforcement efforts, writes R. Scott Oswald, managing principal of The Employment Law Group, P.C., in a just-published article in Futures Magazine.

That’s because the CFTC remains committed to cracking down on large trading firms that try to evade enforcement of the agency’s regulations — and insiders are uniquely positioned to tell the CFTC whether their firms deliberately avoided the rules, a key element of proving a violation.

The new oversight rules aren’t final yet, but likely will cover about 125 large trading firms that must register with the CFTC as dealers of U.S.-facing swaps. That’s a step back from earlier proposals by the agency, but the CFTC still wants its regulation to have some bite: It has requested a new swap oversight budget that almost doubles last year’s allotment, and plans to increase its regulatory staff in the area by about 70%.

Such moves “suggest that this is a particularly good time to bring a CFTC whistleblower rewards claim,” Mr. Oswald wrote in the article.

Mr. Oswald’s full article, “Whistleblowers’ role in cross-borders swap regulation,” is available on

Congress established the CFTC whistleblower program in 2010 when it enacted the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Under Section 748 of the Dodd-Frank Act, the agency must reward whistleblowers who provide original information about unlawful activity to the government; rewards may reach 30% of the amount recovered.

The Employment Law Group® law firm has a nationwide whistleblower practice representing employees who have been the victims of retaliation. To learn more about CFTC rewards, see the firm’s overview of the CFTC whistleblower program.