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Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance


CFTC Updates Self-Reporting and Cooperation Guidelines

26 September 2017

On September 25, 2017, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission issued an Enforcement Advisory outlining requirements and resulting benefits for companies and individuals that voluntarily self-report wrongdoing to the CFTC and fully cooperate with the Enforcement Division's investigation.  The Updated Advisory is an expansion of the CFTC's January 2017 Enforcement Advisory (see our January 2017 client briefing).  The new self-reporting and cooperation program promises meaningful reductions in penalties.  Specifically, where a company or individual self-reports, fully cooperates, and takes remedial measures, the Enforcement Division will recommend that the CFTC consider a "substantial reduction" from the civil monetary penalty that would otherwise be imposed.  In informal comments following the rollout of the Updated Advisory, CFTC Division of Enforcement Director James McDonald suggested that companies and individuals meeting the Updated Advisory's requirements could see a 50 to 75 percent reduction in civil monetary penalties, and also suggested that self-reporting should occur "right away" upon learning of potential misconduct, even if the illegality is ambiguous and the extent of the misconduct is not clear.  Although companies and individuals who do not self-report, but otherwise fully cooperate and remediate, may also receive reduced penalties, the Updated Advisory makes clear that the Enforcement Division will reserve recommendations for the most substantial reductions where self-reporting is exhibited along with cooperation and remediation.

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