Constantine Cannon Attorneys Eric Havian and Michael Ronickher Published on Need for Whistleblowers in Anti-Money Laundering Enforcement
With a whistleblower program for anti-money laundering enforcement currently under discussion in the House of Representatives Financial Services subcommittee, Constantine Cannon attorneys Eric Havian and Michael Ronickher were published in Banking Exchange on April 22 on the benefits such a program could bring. Highlighting the example of the recent Standard Chartered settlement, in which the London-based bank agreed to pay over $1 billion to settle allegations it helped clients conceal transactions in Iran, Havian and Ronickher argue that without incentives for whistleblowers to come forward, AML enforcement lacks an important compliance tool. The rise of cryptocurrency presents an even greater enforcement challenge, given the difficulty in identifying who is controlling or moving digital wallets.
The successes of the SEC and CFTC whistleblower programs demonstrate the value of whistleblower incentives in financial compliance, and the importance of providing whistleblowers with protection from retaliation. The AML whistleblower program currently under consideration in Congress lacks anti-retaliation provisions such as those that have been successful at the SEC, and Havian and Ronickher recommend that such whistleblower protections be added. With incentives to report AML violations, and adequate protections for whistleblowers, the proposed AML whistleblower program, should it be approved by Congress, can serve an important role in combatting AML schemes.
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