Stephen M. Kohn, founding partner of Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto and leading expert on whistleblower law, recently penned a piece for the CLS Blue Sky Blog. The piece, “Whistleblowing Should Be Part of President Biden’s Fight Against Corruption” argues that the proper use of whistleblower laws should be a core aspect of the President’s anti-corruption agenda.
According to Kohn, “[t]he problems that President Biden’s Anti-Corruption Memorandum is targeting with a renewed effort to combat international corruption are remarkably similar to the problems identified by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) in supporting continued prosecutions under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (‘FCPA’), including the use of whistleblowers as a key tool for detecting foreign bribery.”
“Given those similarities, the use of the FCPA should be the backbone of an effective anti-corruption program,” Kohn continues. “Likewise, the use of the Dodd-Frank Act’s transnational whistleblower program needs to be expanded, especially in light of the evidence of the invaluable role played by whistleblowers in detecting bribery.”
In the piece, Kohn outlines the priorities of President Biden’s Anti-Corruption Memorandum and then explains how whistleblower laws have proven to incentivize individuals to report corruption.
Kohn pulls empirical evidence to highlight the success of the Dodd-Frank Act in encouraging whistleblowers to come forward with valuable information. He notes that “[a]s reported by the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower, since 2011, 4,538 whistleblowers from 129 countries have filed whistleblower claims.”
“Many of these cases have resulted in significant enforcement actions and recoveries,” Kohn adds. “Already, close to $100 million has been paid in rewards to non-U.S. persons or whistleblowers who have reported issues directly related to international corruption.”
Kohn also points out that the SEC is not the only agency which relies on whistleblowers to expose foreign corruption. According to Kohn, the IRS, CFTC, and DOJ all utilize information provided by international whistleblowers.
Kohn concludes his piece by stating: “Given this track record, the best practices relating to international whistleblowing should be part of the implementation of the Anti-Corruption Memorandum.”
Whistleblowing Should Be Part of President Biden’s Fight Against Corruption | CLS Blue Sky Blog