Congress Expands Whistleblower Eligibility to Include Auditors and Compliance Professionals

Congress recently included the Anti-Money Laundering Whistleblower Improvement Act as part of the omnibus budget, which President Biden has signed into law. This new Act includes measures to expand enforcement actions against money launderers in the U.S. financial system. The Act is designed to incentivize whistleblowers to speak out when they witness wrongdoing.

Who is eligible to blow the whistle?

The Act’s provisions now allow corporate auditors and financial professionals to become qualified whistleblowers. Previously, they were not allowed to claim an award under the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower and the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act.

This is important because some whistleblowers are reluctant to speak up unless an award is available, which frustrates government enforcement and ultimately affects the general population.

Unlike other whistleblower provisions, the Act includes people who gained knowledge of criminal conduct as part of their compliance or audit duties. It does not limit the program to U.S. citizens, and also allows whistleblowers to report violations or evasions of U.S. sanctions.

What kind of awards are available?

Now, the Anti-Money Laundering Whistleblower Improvement Act increases the scope of reportable conduct and who may claim an award. The Act provides that at least ten and up to 3- percent of any collected financial sanctions shall be paid to eligible voluntary whistleblowers.

The size of the award is determined by how critical the whistleblower’s information is to a successful enforcement, how much assistance they provide, the Treasury’s interest in deterring those violations and “additional factors” as decided by the Department of the Treasury. Legal scholars expect that these factors will mirror the SEC’s considerations.

If you have information about financial wrongdoing and want to blow the whistle, a knowledgeable whistleblower attorney at Kardell Law Group can guide you through the process. Reach out today to get started.