High-ranking DOJ officials have announced a program in the works to improve the incentives to blow the whistle on large-scale corporate misconduct. The False Claims Act already provides monetary compensation to individuals who report fraud victimizing the federal government as a payor. (Field-specific agencies, such as the Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission, also have their own whistleblower-rewards programs.) The news revealed by Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco is that whistleblowers on big corporate misdeeds harming victims other than the federal government will stand to be paid from resulting forfeiture funds under a program that will launch formally later in 2024. For now, it’s a “90-day sprint” for various components of the DOJ to figure out in more detail how it will work.

Some important requirements, though, are already public. Acting Assistant AG Nicole Argentieri clarified that the new program will reward whistleblowers only if they submit “original, non-public, truthful information not already known to the department, and only when that information is provided voluntarily and not in response to any government inquiry, preexisting reporting obligation, or imminent threat of disclosure.” The DOJ hopes this and other related policies will motivate actors who have important information on big corporate misconduct to race to be the government’s first source.

As a firm with expertise in whistleblower cases, investigations, and white-collar criminal defense, Bienert Katzman Littrell Williams LLP will be eyeing these developments closely.

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