$3.4 Billion Recovered from Fraudsters
$465 million paid in rewards
Washington D.C., January 12, 2017. Today the Internal Revenue Service’s Whistleblower Office released its Annual Report documenting the progress of the tax whistleblower program. Among the findings released are:
· Since the programs creation the Whistleblower Office has directly collected $3.4 billion in revenue from whistleblower disclosures;
· The program has paid whistleblowers over $465 million in monetary rewards.
· In 2016 the Office approved 418 rewards, paying out over $61 million to whistleblowers;
· Since 2014 the Whistleblower Office has paid rewards on 1205 claims;
· In FY 2016 13,396 whistleblower reward claims were filed. Currently, there are 29,835 open claims under review within the Whistleblower Office.
A copy of the Annual Report is attached here.
Stephen M. Kohn, a legal expert on whistleblowing and a partner in the law firm of Kohn, Kohn and Colapinto, said: “The IRS is making progress, but the long delays in investigating and processing cases hurts the American public and the whistleblower program. Political officials in the Department of Treasury have starved the Whistleblower Office, resulting in delays and an unacceptably large backlog. It is inconceivable that an office that generates billions in income, and is mandated to help whistleblowers has a backlog of 29,835 open cases, and a staff of only 37 employees.”
“The report indicates that the IRS reduced the number of employee’s working on whistleblower cases from 61 to 37. This is completely unacceptable. The office needed to be significantly enlarged, not cut. This sends the wrong message to whistleblowers and is music to the ears of tax cheats,” Kohn added.
Stephen Kohn represented tax whistleblower Bradley Birkenfeld, who exposed thousands of illegal U.S. accounts held overseas in UBS Switzerland. He obtained the largest individual whistleblower reward in history, $104 million, for turning in the illegal UBS program.