In a new op-ed for The Hill, leading whistleblower attorney Stephen M. Kohn of Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto outlines the urgent need for whistleblower protections targeting Russian money laundering and sanctions busting. Kohn reviews legislation pending in both the House and the Senate which “give the Department of Treasury the ability to successfully track down the hundreds of billions of dollars that passed through American banks.”
The money laundering and sanctions legislation which Kohn details are H.R.7195 and S.3316. The bipartisan bills offer reforms to the current anti-money laundering whistleblower program and establish protections for sanctions whistleblowers.
“Why is the whistleblower legislation so badly needed?” Kohn writes. “First, there are no protections whatsoever for whistleblowers who report sanctions violations… Second, whether you are reporting money laundering or sanctions busting, the Department of Treasury lacks the ability to compensate you for your sacrifices or information, nor is there any requirement that any reward or compensation ever be paid to a whistleblower.”
Kohn explains that the fixes offered by the reform bills are 100% based upon successful whistleblower provisions found in the Dodd-Frank Act, the Wall Street reform bill which established the SEC Whistleblower Program. “The Dodd-Frank procedures are a win-win-win for accountability,” Kohn writes.
According to Kohn, “[t]he last remaining known hurdle in the House is coming from the Appropriations Committee, Chaired by Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.). Once she signs off on the bill it should quickly move forward.” He notes that Senate leadership has committed to passing the bill once it is sent over from the House.