U.S. ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING WHISTLEBLOWER REWARDS PROGRAM
The U.S. anti-money laundering (AML) whistleblower rewards program is a new program that was enacted in 2021. This program rewards whistleblowers for reporting insider information about someone or entity violating the U.S. anti-money laundering laws. Money laundering involves hiding or concealing financial assets so that one can use such assets or money without revealing the illicit activity that produced the money in the first place.
This program should allow whistleblowers to report wrongdoing and not be punished for doing so. It is expected that because of these protections and potential financial incentives, more people will come forward and report money laundering crimes, which in turn will lead to a higher rate of prosecutions and convictions related to these types of crimes and other types of financial fraud.
How does the U.S. Anti-Money Laundering Whistleblower Rewards Program Work?
This program works in a relatively simple way. If you have inside information about someone breaking U.S. anti-money laundering laws, you can report this information to the U.S. government. Suppose your information is found to be accurate and leads to a successful enforcement action where the government collects money. In that case, you may be entitled to a percentage of the money that was recovered.
Some key factors to note are:
- Whistleblowers may receive up to 30% of the monetary sanctions recovered in the case. The Treasury Department has the discretion to determine the amount of the award based on the significance of the information provided and the degree of assistance.
- The whistleblower must provide “original information” based on independent knowledge or independent analysis.
- The whistleblower is entitled to remain anonymous if they report their information through legal counsel. The AML whistleblower program provides protections to safeguard the whistleblower’s identity and prevent and prohibit retaliation from an Employer.
- Unlike some other whistleblower programs, there is no minimum percentage for the award given to a whistleblower. For example, with the SEC Whistleblower Program, whistleblowers are entitled to 10-30% of the funds collected, i.e., there is a 10% minimum reward. With the AML program, there is no minimum.
- With the anti-money laundering whistleblower program, there is a $1 Million minimum enforcement requirement. That means that to be eligible to receive a reward, the Treasury Department’s enforcement action must result in monetary sanctions exceeding $1,000,000.
This program provides an incentive to people who come forward and report wrongdoing they may know about related to money laundering. The hope is that this will help crack down on financial fraud occurring in the U.S. and worldwide. Money laundering is a harmful crime because it usually helps finance activities such as terrorism, organized crime, and drug trafficking. The anti-money laundering whistleblower program is just one way the U.S. government is trying to combat these crimes.
The U.S. Treasury Department administers the anti-money laundering program through the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). If you have information concerning potential money laundering violations, it is essential to report it to the authorities through the proper channels and follow all required procedures. Therefore, it is vital to have whistleblower lawyers on your side.
The AML whistleblower rewards program is still new and in its early stages, and regulations and guidance on administering it are still forthcoming. An experienced whistleblower attorney can help you throughout the process and maximize your chances of receiving a reward.
If you have any information about suspected money laundering violations and are considering reporting it to the authorities, please contact us for a free and confidential consultation about your rights, protections, and possible financial rewards.
For more information about the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020 and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), visit https://www.fincen.gov/anti-money-laundering-act-2020.
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