DOJ Announces Plan To Pay Corporate Whistleblowers
Government/Regulatory Enforcement
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  • DOJ Announces Plan To Pay Corporate Whistleblowers


    On March 7, 2024, the Department of Justice announced a whistleblower rewards program intended to compensate individuals who assist the Department in discovering unknown significant corporate or financial misconduct with a portion of any resulting forfeiture. 

    This new Department initiative was unveiled by Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco during the American Bar Association’s 39th National Institute on White Collar Crime. Monaco explained that existing whistleblower programs—such as those used by the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, and the Internal Revenue Service—are limited to those agencies’ jurisdictions and are thus unable to address the “full range of corporate and financial misconduct that the Department prosecutes.” According to Monaco, the Department hopes its new program “will fill [these] gaps” by “create[ing] new incentives for individuals to report misconduct” and for “companies to invest further in their own internal compliance and reporting systems.”

    Consistent with the Department’s goal of filling the gaps left by other enforcement agencies, a whistleblower cannot receive payment from the Department where a financial incentive for disclosure already exists, such as an overlapping federal whistleblower program or a qui tam right of action. The information the whistleblower provides must also be truthful and previously unknown to the Department. Only after all victims of the misconduct are compensated will the whistleblower be entitled to an award, which is subject to a monetary threshold that will be finalized at some later date.

    Monaco further announced that the Department had initiated a 90-day pilot program, effective on the day of her remarks, to aid in development of the program before its official start sometime later this year. In remarks given on March 8, 2024, at the same conference, Criminal Division Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicole M. Argentieri added that the pilot program will be led by the Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section within the Criminal Division. 

    As this nascent program develops over the coming months, it signals the Department’s continued effort to provide incentives for individuals—and companies—to voluntarily disclose misconduct and, as the whistleblower programs employed by other agencies have demonstrated, this program will likely yield a large volume of new leads for the Department to investigate.

    Categories: DOJWhistleblower