Kathryn Keneally, Assistant Attorney General, Tax Division of the Department of Justice, acknowledged that the Department of Justice had used information provided by whistleblowers in tracking down unreported offshore bank accounts held by United States citizens while speaking to the Civil and Criminal Penalties Committee of Tax Section of the American Bar Association at its May Meeting on Saturday, May 10, 2014. Ms. Keneally included whistleblower information along with several other sources of information, including bank disclosures, while discussing the Department of Justice’s Offshore Compliance Initiative. Ms. Keneally emphasized her quote from a May 9, 2014 Press Release:
As today’s announcement shows, we receive information about U.S. taxpayers with undisclosed accounts from many sources, some of which are not public. For many accountholders, the time to come forward voluntarily to avoid criminal prosecution has run out.
Although contributions by whistleblowers frequently go unacknowledged, Ms. Keneally’s statement shows that the information provided by whistleblowers is vital to the continued success of the Department of Justice’s enforcement efforts. This begs the question of how these whistleblowers will ultimately be rewarded for the information they provide.