For almost every activity or industry that exists in the United States, there is a corresponding regulatory or government body that creates legislative or administrative laws that monitor such activities. Therefore, government investigations have a vast array of resources at their disposal to investigate infractions or schemes that attempt to violate these laws and regulations.
Governmental investigations are disruptive in nature, as they not only impact the personal and professional lives of business executives and managers but also of the business entity itself. In addition, the lives of private citizens who are the targets of these investigations are also heavily impacted if investigated under a non-business charge.Below is a list of just a handful of government bodies that may form the basis of a government investigation.
- Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
- Department of Justice (DOJ)
- Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF)
- Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
- Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)
- Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
- Securities Exchange Commission (SEC)
- Office of Investigations (OI)
- National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD)
- Postal Inspector
- US Customs and Border Protection
- United States Fish and Wildlife
- US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
- New York's Criminal Enforcement and Financial Crimes Bureau
- New York Comptroller
- US Attorney's Office
Understanding that the government has the resources to prosecute an aggressive investigation, it is imperative that the target of these investigations source an equally competent defense team that will be able to protect either the target or the business entity under investigation.
Government Investigation Tactics
There are several ways that a person discovers that they are under an investigation. One simple method is for an agent of one of the above entities to create encounters with the subject or targets in order to confuse them into discussing the investigation without legal counsel present.
These agents may approach you on the street at your place of work or at your home. The target may receive a subpoena for documents compelling them to furnish all relevant documentation, the parameters of which may be very wide in scope which can create financial burden on not only the business entity but on the individual as well.
In addition to these agencies may seek a search warrant from a magistrate or judge to allow them to search your business or home for evidence or documents of the purported crime. This type of tactic has been used many a time in the early pre-dawn hours in order to disorient the target. It is much easier to find evidence if the target is half asleep and disoriented.
What To Do
In a situation like this, the target should try to contact their attorney as soon as possible and try not to be alarmed if you're unable to reach them. These 6:00AM morning raids are purposefully scheduled at a time when contacting one's attorney would be the most difficult. It is important to remember that the target or his or her family members do not have to answer questions. Just politely decline to answer questions and ask for a "search warrant return." This is a list of all items the agents have found and have removed from the premises.
If you do not have an experienced attorney that can handle these types of investigations; find one immediately. A fully competent and experienced defense team will be able to conduct internal investigations, respond to grand jury and governmental regulatory subpoenas, handle grand jury proceedings, negotiate with prosecutors and other regulators, represent clients in plea deals, trials and sentencing.
For these reasons, it is essential for you as a target of a government investigation to contact an experienced defense attorney qualified in federal and white-collar crime defense. Your attorney will help you prepare a defense and collect all relevant information and documents that will help your case. The Kushner Law Group is here to defend your rights and to help you navigate through the often confusing governmental investigative and prosecutorial landscape. Call us now at (718) 504.1440 for a free consultation.