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Anti Money Laundering Lawyer

The Whistleblower Attorneys at Kohn, Kohn and Colapinto represent the Whistleblower who Exposed the Largest Money Laundering Case in History

The whistleblower lawyers at Kohn, Kohn and Colapinto currently represent the whistleblower who reported the largest money laundering scheme in world history — $230 billion laundered from Russia into Europe and the United States. The scandal, reported by Howard Wilkinson, the former manager of international banking for Danske (Estonia), involves numerous banks and individuals, including Danske Bank, Deutsche Bank, J.P Morgan and the Bank of America.

Wilkinson’s case has been highlighted by 60 minutes and the Wall Street Journal and he is the recipient of the most prestigious award from the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. His allegations have triggered ongoing investigations in the United States, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, among other countries, and has already resulted in numerous criminal prosecutions.

Not only does Kohn, Kohn and Colapinto represent high-profile whistleblowers who have courageously reported money laundering, we have worked to expand the whistleblower laws covering these crimes. Whistleblower attorney Stephen Kohn presented testimony before the European Parliament urging Europe to expand whistleblower protection to cover money laundering. In 2018 the Kohn firm, working with the National Whistleblower Center, was successful in having Congress amend the IRS tax whistleblower law to include all crimes investigated by the IRS criminal division which includes money laundering.

The 2018 IRS whistleblower law covering money laundering affords whistleblowers full confidentiality and entitles them to a mandatory reward of between 15-30% of the fines and sanctions obtained by the United States. Whistleblowers reporting money laundering can reside anywhere in the world, and do not need to be U.S. citizens. Money laundering may also violate the Dodd-Frank Act, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the Commodity Exchange Act and the Securities Exchange Act, all which also have mandatory reward provisions and full confidentiality protections.

Related Media

60 Minutes Interview: Danske Bank Whistleblower

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Latest from Our Blog

  • August 12, 2022

    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.” ...

  • June 22, 2022

    On June 22, the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services voted unanimously by voice to approve H.R. 7195, a bill amending the whistleblower provisions of the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020 (AML Act). The AML Act established a whistleblower award program for money laundering whistleblowers but major loopholes have undermined the program. H.R. 7195 closes these loopholes. “This bipartisan, bicameral legislation provides a proven solution to improving the whistleblower fund of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN),” said Representative Alma Adams (D-NC) the principal sponsor of the bill. “FinCEN’s whistleblower fund was designed to pay awards to the brave souls who too often risk their livelihoods and their lives to report criminal wrongdoing that they witness. Unfortunately, we have found that FinCEN’s award model which we implemented in 2020 AMLA has been so far insufficient to meet the statutory requirements. So I’m proud to say this legislation brings FinCEN’s fund in line with other successful funds currently operating in the federal government and will substantially aid FinCEN as it executes its Congressionally directed mission.” H.R. 7195 addressed two major shortcomings with the AML Act. First, the bill adds a required statutory minimum award of 10%. Currently, there is no minimum award guarantee, meaning that all whistleblower awards through the program are discretionary. Discretionary award programs have proven to be ineffective at properly incentivizing whistleblowing. “This bicameral, bipartisan legislation will strengthen ...

  • June 8, 2022

    The latest issue of Ethical Boardroom, a magazine focusing on global corporate governance issues, features a piece written by Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto (KKC) founding partner Stephen M. Kohn. Kohn’s article, entitled “Bankers, Putin, and the Whistleblowers,” provides an overview of U.S. corporate whistleblowing laws and the role they play in the U.S. strategy to combat corruption. Kohn begins by highlighting the Danske Bank whistleblower Howard Wilkinson, a KKC client. Wilkinson is a former Danske Bank employee who blew the whistle on a $230 billion Russian money-laundering scheme centered in an Estonian branch of Danske Bank. The scheme profited Russian oligarchs, relatives of Vladimir Putin, the FSB (the Russian secret police), and individuals involved in organized crime in Russia. According to Kohn, Wilkinson “figured out that to which the entire anti-money laundering (AML) compliance programme had turned a blind eye. The banks had profited from Russian criminals, money laundering, and illegal monetary transfers. But the Oligarchs were the big winners. The rule of law was the biggest loser.” Kohn highlights Wilkinson in order to show how effective corporate whistleblowing is in exposing corruption across the globe. He notes that “the U.S. Congress passed a whistleblower reward law covering money laundering two years after the Danske Bank scandal was reported in the worldwide press.” According to Kohn, the AML whistleblower law joined the growing list of other whistleblower reward laws, all ...


The Smoke Detector

An interview with Danske Bank whistleblower Howard Wilkinson

By Dick Carozza, CFE;
Photos by Dave Phillips