Do I need a Whistleblower attorney?

Under certain circumstances, the IRS and SEC/CFTC whistleblower programs allow whistleblowers to proceed without an attorney. However, beacuse there are important considerations when deciding how to proceed, it is advisable to contact an experienced whistleblower attorney.

Money Laundering

Money laundering refers to the activities and financial transactions that are undertaken with the intent to hide the true source of the money. In many cases, the money involved is earned from an illegal enterprise and the goal is to give that money, often referred to as “dirty” money, the appearance of coming from a legitimate source (i.e. “clean”).

Two of the most common methods used to launder money involve:

  • Moving the money out of the United States and then bringing it back in a clean form, often disguised as loan proceeds
  • Channeling or co-mingling the money through a variety of business activities to give the appearance that the money was earned from a legal source

Money laundering has the potential to adversely impact the global economy.

As a matter of law, the SEC does not have authority to prosecute for violations of U.S. Anti-Money Laundering laws. However, many view the Dodd-Frank Act, one of the largest and most sweeping financial reform legislations in recent history, as authorizing the SEC to address anti-money laundering violations.The whistleblower provisions of Dodd-Frank authorize the SEC to pay whistleblowers between 10% and 30% of the financial penalties collected in actions in which the financial sanctions exceed $1 million.The SEC routinely brings actions against banks or financial institutions for violations of anti-money laundering rules, and these actions are on the rise. The SEC also pursues issuers of securities when money laundering violations result in material misstatements in financial disclosures.

Dodd-Frank’s whistleblower provisions simultaneously expand the protections afforded to whistleblowers as well as the incentives to disclose. Moreover, the provisions expand the pool of potential whistleblowers and the wide-ranging corporate activity that may be reported to the SEC, so that money laundering may now be included under the umbrella of reported activities

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