FIRREA Provides Another Outlet for Whistleblowers

The Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989 has a little known provision that allows a whistleblower to report instances of bank and financial institution fraud.  The law allows private individuals to submit confidential claims to the Department of Justice.  The department can then investigate and use its enforcement powers to recover penalties or damages, or the department can refer the case to private cause to pursue the claim on behalf of the government.  Private citizens initiating such claims receive a bounty payment on any recovery.  The types of violations that may be reported under the FIRREA include false statements in connection with a credit or loan application, misrepresenting status to obtain a loan, or making false entries in the books of a financial institution.

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