The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced a landmark whistleblower award of approximately $1.25 million to an individual in an internal compliance or audit function who came forward with information on misconduct occurring at his or her employer.

Whistleblowers who work in compliance or audit roles have extra thresholds to meet to be eligible for awards under the whistleblower programs of the CFTC and Securities and Exchange Commission. In this case, the individual reported the matter internally and waited at least 120 days, as required, before contacting the CFTC that remedial action hadn’t been taken regarding the alleged misconduct.

The CFTC said the case was the first to apply its 120-day safe harbor provision related to compliance or audit whistleblowers.

“The whistleblower first reported internally, fulfilling job duties and putting the entity on notice of its wrongdoing,” said Brain Young, director of the agency’s whistleblower office, in a press release Thursday. “The CFTC’s Whistleblower Program rewards employees with compliance and audit responsibilities who first raise violations internally and then contact the CFTC if the employer sits on its hands.”

In its order, the CFTC said the whistleblower’s information was significant because it was the sole reason the agency opened its investigation that led to an enforcement action. It noted the individual’s information provided was limited to his or her initial disclosures and that its staff did not have contact with him or her—a reflection of the stakes compliance/audit whistleblowers face coming forward.

“Insiders have some of the most valuable evidence about illegal activity in our markets,” stated Ian McGinley, director of the CFTC’s Division of Enforcement. “Today’s award recognizes the risks they take in coming forward to the CFTC, as well as the role of their information in amplifying the CFTC’s enforcement efforts.”

The CFTC protects the confidentiality of whistleblowers and does not reveal information that could identify them.