GovExec: Are you sitting on a trove of information about global kleptocracy? Do you like the idea of up to $5 million and witness protection? If so, a bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers has the bill for you.
Modeled on existing programs to reward people who give tips to the State department on terrorism, or to the IRS on tax evasion, the Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Rewards Act aims to help return assets stolen from foreign state coffers, by encouraging whistleblowers to talk to US authorities. The bill, introduced in the House on Feb. 27 by Democrat Stephen Lynch and Republican Keith Rothfus, would let the Treasury give asylum and cash to people who come forward with information about stolen assets that are stored in the US.
“In the last 15 years, only about $5 billion in corrupt assets has been repatriated. That is out of an estimated $20-40 billion that is lost annually due to corruption,” Lynch said in an emailed statement. “The goal of this proposed rewards program is to recover and return more of these funds to the people of the countries from which the funds were stolen.”