CFTC division of enforcement publishes 2019 Annual Report

17 January 2020: The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) Division of Enforcement (DOE) has published its Annual Report for 2019, which shines a light on the division’s success in prosecuting misconduct in the market. It sets out accomplishments for 2019 including key metrics and trends in enforcement actions, among other things. Highlights from the report include:

  • 69 actions filed by CFTC, up from the five-year-average of 67.5.
  • $1.3bn awarded in monetary relief, a 39% increase since 2018 and the fourth-highest total in CFTC history.
  • 2019 was the second-highest year on record for cases involving manipulative conduct and spoofing.
  • The CFTC filed more actions in parallel with criminal authorities than in any year prior.
  • 65% of all cases filed in 2019 involved charges of commodities fraud, manipulative conduct or spoofing.

The Report has been published less than a year since Heath Tarbert was sworn in as the Fourteenth Chairman of the CFTC. Talbert has made clear that he has a strict approach to those who flout the rules – which has been exemplified in that almost 70% of CFTC actions in 2019 were made under his leadership. 

Commenting on the Report, CFTC Director of Enforcement, James McDonald, said “The breadth and significance of the enforcement activity in FY 2019 is reflected in the fact that the filed cases involved some of the most significant commodities fraud, manipulation, and spoofing cases in the history of the agency. The Commission and its staff will continue to work tirelessly to preserve market integrity, to protect law-abiding market participants, and to achieve a true culture of compliance in our markets.”