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Anti-Money Laundering Whistleblower Program

The Anti-Money Laundering Act (“AMLA”) established one of the newest financially-centric whistleblower programs to be enacted in the U.S.

Operated through the Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”), the AMLA whistleblower program targets shell companies that are operating on behalf of taxpayers conducting illicit activities. The AMLA Whistleblower Program, enacted via Section 6312 of the AMLA, allows for awards of up to 30 percent of collected sanctions recovered by the Department of the Treasury through the Bank Secrecy Act (“BSA”). The program seeks “original information” garnered from independent knowledge or analysis of money laundering activities.

TWAG attorneys can help whistleblowers with original information concerning issues of money laundering bring that evidence to the government anonymously and obtain a monetary award through the AMLA’s Whistleblower Program.

Effective Date

The AML Whistleblower program became effective on January 1, 2021, therefore whistleblower claims can be filed now. Furthermore, a whistleblower can provide information on criminal or civil activity that occurred prior the creation of the program.  The statute of limitation for BSA violations are six years for civil actions under Title 31 USC 5321(b) or five years for criminal penalties under Title 18 USC 3282 (a).

Eligibility and Critical Aspects of the AML Program

  • Awards are up to 30% of monetary sanctions over $1,000,000
  • Whistleblowers are not required to be US citizens or residents.
  • Whistleblowers can be insiders who are uniquely positioned to detect money laundering violations such as compliance personnel or internal audit staff.
  • Whistleblower are entitled to protection from retaliations by their employers based on the reporting of the BSA/money laundering violations.

Definition of Money Laundering

Money laundering, as defined in the National Money Laundering Strategy, is criminal finance. Money laundering creates an underground, untaxed economy that harms our country’s overall economic strength. When criminals or criminal organizations seek to disguise the illicit nature of their money by introducing it into the stream of legitimate commerce and finance, they launder money. The traditional image of money laundering portrays someone manually washing drug money from city streets, and turning it into legitimate financial transactions, such as those for bank deposits and other assets.

Frequent money laundering techniques include:

  • Manipulating currency reporting requirements/Structuring
  • Narcotics Trafficking
  • Layering transactions from illegal activities
  • Using Black Market Peso
  • Moving funds internationally
  • Bulk cash smuggling
  • Using shell companies and other legal entities to disguise true ownership
  • Bank Fraud
  • Wire Fraud
  • Health Care Fraud

Our attorneys are connected to nearly 45% of all money laundering cases today, with TWAG attorneys having written many of the applicable reward rules. If you have a case and would like to report anonymously and confidentially, get in contact with one of our tax attorneys today.