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 is typically performed to hide the true source of money, particularly when it is earned from illegal activities. By laundering the money, it gains the appearance of coming from a legitimate source

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

Criminal Repercussions of Money Laundering

The Money Laundering Control Act (1986) makes it a felony to engage in a financial transaction with the intent to further a criminal endeavor or to conceal the proceeds of illegal activities. This law also addresses actions committed by third parties. Under the Money Laundering Control Act, it is illegal to knowingly engage in or attempt to engage in a financial transaction of $10,000 or more with property associated with criminal activity. Third parties may face criminal charges for depositing, transferring, or withdrawing these funds.

The civil tax penalties for money laundering are similar to those associated with other forms of tax fraud, and under the tax whistleblower program, informants may receive 15% to 30% of all recovered taxes, penalties, and interest associated with a money laundering scheme.

There are also specific criminal statutes that apply to money laundering cases, and individuals who are convicted may face incarceration as well as fines and penalties. The IRS will not pay a reward, however, on monies collected as part of a criminal fine.

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