State of the (Crypto) Union
The U.S. government is wary of crypto.
Posted by Daren Firestone
The United States government is not anti- or pro-crypto. But it has begun cracking down on some of the most alarming abuses of blockchain technology. As President Biden put it in his March 9, 2022 executive order, “The growing use of digital assets in financial activity heightens risks of crimes such as money laundering, terrorist and proliferation financing, fraud and theft schemes, and corruption. These illicit activities highlight the need for ongoing scrutiny of the use of digital assets.”
Combatting crypto crimes has become a priority for Biden’s Administration. On February 17, 2022, for example, the DOJ appointed its first Director of the newly established National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team, which “was established to ensure the department meets the challenge posed by the criminal misuse of cryptocurrencies and digital assets.”
Crypto enforcement is not solely the province of criminal authorities but also of regulatory agencies. The SEC, for example, has singled out “crypto-assets” as one of its examination priorities for 2022. Last August, SEC Chair Gary Gensler said that crypto is “rife with fraud, scams, and abuse in certain applications.” And just this week, the Chairman Gensler announced that the SEC would nearly double the size of its enforcement unit focused on crypto assets to better “police wrongdoing in the crypto markets….”
This is good news for whistleblowers, who are poised to assist these enforcement efforts and to benefit financially from that assistance. Eligible whistleblowers who provide original information leading to successful SEC enforcement actions are entitled to between 10 and 30 percent of all collections from monetary sanctions over $1 million. The CFTC, the IRS, and FinCEN offer similarly attractive bounties to those whistleblowers who successfully expose fraud or money laundering.
In 2021 alone, the SEC imposed approximately $2.35 billion in total monetary penalties in the crypto space. The same year, the SEC paid out over $1 billion to whistleblowers in all areas under its jurisdiction. The upside potential for whistleblowers is substantial.
Accordingly, the lawyers at Levy Firestone Muse have launched www.cryptowhistleblower.com to leverage this moment to make crypto markets safer for consumers and earn rewards for our whistleblowing clients. Our lawyers have a track record representing some of the most historically significant whistleblowers, including a client whose whistleblowing helped secure one of the largest enforcement recoveries in the crypto space to date. At Levy Firestone Muse, we shepherd our clients through the difficult process of disclosing fraud to the government—protecting their interests every step of the way and pursuing the maximum reward.
To learn more, or if you would like us to evaluate your whistleblower tip, contact us using one of the various secure options we offer.