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What is the Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Rewards Program?

Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Rewards Program

The Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Rewards Program under the U.S. Treasury Department has the purpose to combat foreign government corruption and “to identify and recover stolen assets, forfeit proceeds of corruption, and, where appropriate and feasible, return those stolen assets or proceeds to the country harmed by the acts of corruption.”

This program was established by Congress under the Sections 9701-9703 of the William M. (Mac) Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021, Pub. L. No. 116-283.

The Secretary of the Treasury has the authority under this program to:

“offer rewards up to a maximum of $5,000,000 for information leading to the (1) the restraint or seizure (2) forfeiture or (3) repatriation of stolen assets in an account at a U.S. financial institution (including a U.S. branch of a foreign financial institution), that come within the United States, or that come within the possession or control of any U.S. person.”

Here, “stolen assets” are any:

“financial assets within the jurisdiction of the United States constituting, derived from, or traceable to, any proceeds obtained directly or indirectly from foreign government corruption.”

Foreign government corruption has two interconnected parts: (1) wealth extraction, which includes bribery, extortion, and embezzlement of public assets and (2) laundering illicit proceeds, which can include shell companies, offshore financial accounts, and the purchase of high value assets such as real estate and luxury goods.

The Treasury Department is especially interested in information that can lead to the seizure, restraint, forfeiture, or repatriation of stolen assets linked to corruption involving the government of the Russian Federation; corruption involving the Sovereign Wealth Fund of Malaysia, known as 1MD; and bribes paid by Odebrecht S.A. and Braskem S.A.

These are only the highlights of what the Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Rewards Program is looking for information on. Information on the assets of individuals and entities of the Treasury Department’s SDN list or SSI List may also qualify for an award. You can search for whether an individual or entity is sanctioned on a search tool provided by the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Asset Control.

Under this program the “Department of the Treasury will keep the information received, as well as the identity of the person who supplied it and any monies paid out by this program, strictly confidential.”

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