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Initial Considerations When Under Investigation for Federal Finance Crimes in DC

Among your initial considerations when under federal finance crimes investigations in DC should be to reach out to a dedicated attorney. With the right legal representation, you could mitigate the charges you are facing and retain some semblance of control. An attorney could investigate your case, build a defense, work with evidence at hand, and advocate for you during these trying times.

Avoiding Agency Staff Pitfalls

If someone is under investigation in Washington, D.C. for federal finance crimes, responding to an agency’s staff is never to his or her benefit. As soon as someone realizes they are under investigation by an agency in Washington, D.C., they should immediately contact a lawyer. After retaining a lawyer, that person should decide what is the appropriate course of action to take. If it is unclear whether that person is the target of an investigation, it almost never makes sense to respond quickly to an agency.

Is Lying to an Investigative Agency a Criminal Offense?

It is a crime to lie or make a material omission to a federal agent under 18 U.S.C § 1001. Most of the time, investigators make it clear to the target of an investigation they are interviewing that it is a crime to lie or make material omissions to a federal agent. When federal agents ask to interview someone, that person should politely decline if a lawyer is not present.

Since agents typically do not record the interviews and if someone does not have a person to corroborate what they said in the interview, they put themselves in a dangerous position. When the interview is over and the agents somehow conclude that the person in question made a material omission or lied, there is no one available to dispute that conclusion. It is dangerous to go into an interview unaccompanied by a lawyer.

The Preservation of Relevant Documents

It is important to preserve any and all documents once someone knows they are under investigation. People must be careful when dealing with documents when they know they are under investigation. If an alleged offender destroys, alters, or deletes documents, that might be considered evidence of consciousness of guilt. For example, if police are investigating a bank robbery and approach someone to discuss the bank robbery who runs away, that could later be used against them as consciousness of guilt evidence. When it becomes clear that someone is under investigation, they should make a copy of their hard drives and documents to preserve a set of information.

Types of Potentially Relevant Documents

One of the responsibilities of the attorney is to determine what documents are relevant or important to the case. The government usually subpoenas documents or may execute a search warrant on the person’s home or business to take documents. When an attorney analyzes a subpoena for documents, it helps the attorney identify what the government thinks is relevant because it identifies a list of documents or categories of documents they want. After reviewing the categories of documents, the attorney has a better understanding of where the government is going with the case.

Conflicts of Interest

When a company is under criminal investigation, it is important to understand that the interests of the company are almost certainly going to conflict with the interests of at least one employee. Some officers of the company may come under investigation. The attorney for a company could help the officers of the company get lawyers who are conflict-free, who could speak on behalf of each of the officer’s interests. Employees usually do not get separate counsel unless there is a good reason to do so.

Depending on the focus of the investigation, the attorney representing the company might interview the employees to get the issue. They could also interview officers of the company or members of the board, but that may involve a negotiation with their counsel.

Learn More About Initial Considerations When Under Federal Finance Investigations in DC

There is much that goes into the initial considerations when under federal financial crimes investigations in DC. However, the first step all alleged offenders should take is reaching out to an experienced attorney. Legal counsel could vet evidence that should be preserved, work with the federal prosecutors involved, and attempt to mitigate the consequences of alleged offenses.  To better your odds of success in court, reach out to an attorney today.

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