On the same day the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) celebrated a record-breaking 113 enforcement actions in fiscal year 2020, the agency also announced the impending departure of Enforcement Director James McDonald.
McDonald will leave the Division of Enforcement on Thursday, after more than three years in the director role. Vincent McGonagle, principal deputy director of the Division of Enforcement, will serve as acting director, the CFTC said. The CFTC gave no reason for McDonald’s departure, nor did it say what he might do next.
“Jamie led the Division of Enforcement to its most momentous year in our 45-year history, which is a testament to his vision and leadership,” CFTC Chairman Heath Tarbert said in a press release Tuesday. “During Jamie’s tenure as Enforcement Director, the division has bolstered its capabilities to detect misconduct through data and analytics, strengthened relationships with other regulators and criminal authorities through parallel enforcement, and increased transparency.”
McDonald said in the press release that serving the Commission for three-plus years was an “incredible honor,” and he thanked the division staff for “working tirelessly each day to preserve the integrity of our markets and protect our market participants.”
Prior to joining the CFTC in April 2017, McDonald served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York. Before that, he worked in private practice at the law firm of Williams & Connolly.
The CFTC launched more enforcement actions in FY2020 than any other fiscal year, which included an agency record $920 million settlement with JPMorgan over allegations that the company’s traders manipulated the precious metals market over eight years. The CFTC said in a press release that it coordinated with 30 states on investigations, also more than any other fiscal year, and launched 29 cases related to coronavirus fraud since the pandemic struck in March. Federal agencies’ fiscal years run from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30.
Full details on FY2020 enforcement actions will be available in the division’s annual enforcement report, which will be issued later this year, the CFTC said.