About the Program
Congress established the Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Rewards Program to further the U.S. government’s commitment to combating foreign government corruption and serve United States efforts to identify and recover stolen assets, forfeit proceeds of corruption, and, where appropriate and feasible, return those stolen assets or proceeds to the country harmed by the acts of corruption (see Sections 9701-9703 of the William M. (Mac) Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021, Pub. L. No. 116-283). The Program may pay rewards to qualified individuals who provide information leading to the restraint or seizure, forfeiture, or repatriation of “stolen assets,” as defined by the law, linked to foreign government corruption.
The Department of the Treasury’s Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence manages the Program in close coordination with the Departments of Justice and State and U.S. federal law enforcement agencies. The Program serves as a force-multiplier for existing rewards programs targeted at a variety of illicit finance threats.
The Secretary of the Treasury has statutory authority to offer rewards up to a maximum of $5,000,000 for information leading to the (1) the restraint or seizure (2) forfeiture or (3) repatriation of stolen assets in an account at a U.S. financial institution (including a U.S. branch of a foreign financial institution), that come within the United States, or that come within the possession or control of any U.S. person.
In addition to accepting all relevant information, the Program will advertise instances in which law enforcement seeks information leading to the restraint, seizure, forfeiture, or repatriation of stolen assets linked to foreign government corruption:
- The U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation seek information leading to the seizure, restraint, forfeiture, or repatriation of bribes or assets linked to bribes paid by Odebrecht S.A. and Braskem S.A. that are: (1) in an account at a U.S. financial institution, including a U.S. branch of a foreign financial institution; (2) that come within the United States; or (3) that come within the possession or control of any U.S. person. Persons who provide such information may be eligible for a reward under this Program or others. Odebrecht S.A., a global construction conglomerate based in Brazil, admitted in its guilty plea agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice that it paid $788 million in bribes to or for the benefit of government officials in 12 countries, including Angola, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Mozambique, Panama, Peru, and Venezuela between 2001 and 2016. Braskem S.A., a Brazilian petrochemical company, also admitted to paying approximately $250 million to Odebrecht to use to pay bribes to politicians and political parties in Brazil as well as at least one official at Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. For additional information, see the Department of Justice’s press release describing the bribery schemes to which the companies pleaded guilty.
- The U.S. Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other U.S. law enforcement agencies seek information leading to the seizure, restraint, forfeiture, or repatriation of assets linked to corruption involving the government of the Russian Federation that are: (1) in an account at a U.S. financial institution, including a U.S. branch of a foreign financial institution; (2) that come within the United States; or (3) that come within the possession or control of any U.S. person. Persons who provide such information may be eligible for a reward under this Program or others.
- The U.S. Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation seek information leading to the seizure, restraint, forfeiture, or repatriation of assets linked to corruption involving the Sovereign Wealth Fund of Malaysia, known as 1MDB, or related embezzlement that are: (1) in an account at a U.S. financial institution, including a U.S. branch of a foreign financial institution; (2) that come within the United States; or (3) that come within the possession or control of any U.S. person. Persons who provide such information may be eligible for a reward under this Program or others.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are “stolen assets”?
By statute, the term “stolen assets” means financial assets within the jurisdiction of the United States constituting, derived from, or traceable to, any proceeds obtained directly or indirectly from foreign government corruption. The term “financial assets” means funds, investments, or ownership interests, that, after January 1, 2021, come within the United States or that come within the possession or control of any U.S. person.
The Program restricts reward eligibility and payments under two circumstances:
- Employees of foreign, U.S. federal, state, or local governments who furnish information obtained in the performance of official duties are ineligible for reward payments.
- Potential reward recipients involved in the underlying misconduct are subject to a mandatory reduction of any reward, and may be subject to a denial of an award, at the Secretary of the Treasury’s discretion. In addition, any potential reward recipients who are convicted of criminal conduct arising from their role in the underlying corruption shall be denied a reward, and Treasury may seek to recover any reward already paid.
Does the program require information be related to a specifically identified corruption case?
No. Those with information regarding assets tied to foreign government corruption may submit it through the Contact Us options listed below, even if it is not linked to a specifically identified matter.
How are reward amounts determined? What is the maximum reward allowable under the Program?
The Interagency Review Committee will consider reward eligibility on a case-by-case basis. The Interagency Review Committee may consider a reward nomination in response to information an individual provides directly to Treasury through the tip line or email address identified below, or to an investigating agency, or a U.S. embassy abroad. If the Interagency Review Committee determines that an individual is eligible for a reward, it recommends that the Secretary of the Treasury approve a reward for an amount determined by the Interagency Review Committee By statute, the maximum amount of any reward is $5 million, unless the Secretary of the Treasury determines the case merits a reward greater than $5 million, personally authorizes a greater amount, and notifies Congress of the determination.
There is no guarantee of a reward for information provided, or, if a reward is authorized, the timing of any payment. Reward payments are strictly at the discretion of the Secretary of the Treasury, acting in consultation with the Secretary of State and Attorney General, and the Secretary may deny or reduce an award payment recommended by the Interagency Review Committee.
The reward amount will be based on various factors, including whether the information was previously known to investigating agencies, the risk assumed by the informant, and the significance of the information in leading to the restraint or seizure, forfeiture, or repatriation of the assets identified.
What guarantees are there about the confidentiality of information provided? Of payments made?
Consistent with applicable law, the Department of the Treasury will keep the information received, as well as the identity of the person who supplied it and any monies paid out by this program, strictly confidential. However, there may be circumstances under which some information relating to the source of the information may have to be disclosed or it may be possible to identify sources from the information provided. U.S. law enforcement authorities will be in communication with you to discuss these matters further if the information you provide merits further investigation.
What are the consequences of knowingly providing false information?
To be eligible for consideration for a reward, nominees must submit information under penalty of perjury. Those who knowingly provide false information may be referred to U.S. law enforcement for further investigation.