Former Director of the CFTC’s Whistleblower Office Christopher Ehrman joins Whistleblower Law Firm Phillips & Cohen

Washington, DC, September 5, 2023 – Christopher Ehrman, the former Director of the Whistleblower Office of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), has joined the whistleblower law firm of Phillips & Cohen LLP as a partner in its Washington, DC office. Ehrman served as the Director of the CFTC’s Whistleblower Office since July 2013.  Under his leadership, successful enforcement actions based on information provided by whistleblowers resulted in monetary sanctions totaling more than $3 billion and whistleblower awards amounting to approximately $330 million.

Prior to joining the CFTC, Mr. Ehrman was an Assistant Director in the Office of Market Intelligence in the Division of Enforcement for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and also served as Branch Chief and Senior Counsel.

“With 10 years of experience running the CFTC’s Whistleblower Office and 14 years with the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, Chris brings unique expertise in financial fraud enforcement. We are delighted to have him join our team,” said Erika Kelton, a partner and whistleblower attorney at Phillips & Cohen.  “Chris’s CFTC and SEC experience, along with our firm’s longstanding record of success with the SEC’s and CFTC’s whistleblower programs, make Phillips & Cohen best positioned to represent whistleblowers across the entire range of financial frauds prosecuted by both agencies,” said Kelton.

As a member of Phillips & Cohen’s financial fraud whistleblower practice, Mr. Ehrman joins the former first Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower, Sean X. McKessy, who joined Phillips & Cohen in 2016, and Erika Kelton, who has obtained 18 awards for SEC and CFTC clients—the most under these financial fraud whistleblower programs.  Phillips & Cohen has been a leader in representing financial fraud whistleblowers since the inception of both programs in 2010. The addition of Mr. Ehrman with his background at both the CFTC and SEC uniquely positions Phillips & Cohen in the financial fraud space.

“We heartily welcome Chris and applaud his choice to join our whistleblower practice.  By far, most attorneys who enter private practice after serving in the government choose to join defense firms. There are only a few former SEC and CFTC attorneys who now represent whistleblowers and work to further the government’s fraud enforcement mission,” said Sean X. McKessy, a partner and whistleblower attorney at Phillips & Cohen.

Mr. Ehrman observed, “Whistleblowers are invaluable in helping the government fight fraud. I am honored to have served both the CFTC and the SEC for most of my career, and I look forward to continuing to assist their enforcement efforts as I represent whistleblowers in my new role.”

The CFTC’s Whistleblower Office was created by the Dodd-Frank Act in 2010. The CFTC is the primary regulator of the U.S. futures, swaps, and options markets and ensures fair and transparent commodity prices, protecting regulated markets and underlying cash markets from fraudulent and manipulative practices. The agency takes action against persons and entities suspected of fraudulent or illegal activity, including abuse of commodity derivatives and swaps that threaten market integrity and public confidence, market manipulation, Ponzi or other schemes, and fraud in connection with commodities, futures, and swaps.

Phillips & Cohen is the most successful law firm representing whistleblowers, with recoveries from cases totaling over $12.8 billion and winning 22 awards for clients under Dodd-Frank whistleblower reward programs. Mr. Ehrman will join other talented lawyers, including the former first head of the SEC Office of the Whistleblower, a former deputy administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the author of a leading treatise on the False Claims Act, and numerous attorneys with decades of experience representing whistleblowers.

“Mr. Ehrman advocated tirelessly for whistleblowers fighting financial frauds, and we know he will bring that same dedication to our work with whistleblowers at Phillips & Cohen,” said Kelton.

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