On June 22, the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services will hold a markup session at 10am Eastern Time; one of the bills being marked up at the session is H.R. 7195, which offers amendments to the Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Whistleblower Program. Whistleblower advocates are calling for support of H.R. 7195.
The Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020 (AML Act) established the AML Whistleblower Program in January 2021. Since the Act’s passage, whistleblower advocates have continuously called for reforms to the program. According to whistleblower attorney Stephen M. Kohn, the AML Whistleblower Program currently contains loopholes that undermine its success.
“The AML Act’s current lack of a mandatory minimum means that awards are purely discretionary and the Treasury Department can withhold an award from a fully qualified whistleblower,” prior Whistleblower Network News coverage reports.
In March, Representative Alma Adams (D-NC) introduced H.R. 7195, which “offers two reforms to the AML Act which whistleblower advocates have requested for some time,” WNN states. Adams’ bill “guarantees a minimum award amount for qualified whistleblowers and establishes a fund to finance the whistleblower award program.”
Whistleblower advocacy group the National Whistleblower Center (NWC) has continued to support the bill. “Current events have illustrated the importance of controlling illegal banking activities like money laundering and bribery to safeguard democracy against the kind of instability and violence that we see occurring in Ukraine,” said NWC Executive Director Siri Nelson. “Anti-money laundering whistleblowers are critical to the success of U.S. sanctions and Rep. Adams’ introduction of this bill could not have come at a better time!” NWC is urging support for H.R. 7195 in an action alert, in which people can write a letter to their representative voicing their support for the bill.