What to Do if You're Under Investigation for a White-Collar Crime

White-collar crime covers a variety of nonviolent criminal offenses that involve some form of fraud. Examples include bribery (both foreign and domestic), embezzlement, tax evasion, and insider trading. These crimes often fall under federal jurisdiction and are investigated by the FBI, IRS, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and other federal agencies.
Target letter
If you are suspected of a white-collar offense, you may receive a target letter, which is sent by a federal prosecutor to inform you that you are the subject of a federal investigation. Upon receipt of such a letter, contact an attorney who specializes in white-collar defense.
It’s imperative that you do this during the pre-indictment phase of the investigation because your attorney can sort out any misunderstandings before the proceedings go any further. Conversely, if no misunderstanding is involved, your defense team can work out a favorable deal before any indictments are handed down.
Contact from state or federal investigators
If federal or state investigators contact you, do not talk to them or cooperate in any way until you have spoken with an attorney. Their only mission is to build a case against you, not help you.
Don’t step outside or invite them into your home. To enter your home without your consent, they must have a warrant, so ask to see it. If they don’t have one and leave, call your attorney immediately.
Beware of the “ambush interview,” which is a federal agent’s way of interrogating you without obtaining a warrant or arresting you beforehand. Agents will show up at your home or office unannounced, saying they could use your help in getting some information. At first their questions are friendly and low-key, but soon they become pointed and semi-aggressive. If this happens to you, terminate the meeting at once and call your attorney. The agents cannot force you to answer their questions: only a grand jury subpoena can compel you to speak, and even then, you are only required to do so in the presence of the grand jury.
If you are indicted
If you are indicted on charges of having committed a white-collar offense, do not discuss your case with anyone except your attorney. If friends, family, or law enforcement ask about your case, simply state that you have legal representation and cannot discuss the matter.
Working with your attorney
To mount the best possible defense, your attorney needs to know the whole story, so be completely honest with them. Answer their questions to the best of your ability and provide any required documentation.
Although you may be frightened, do not tamper with evidence or ask others to lie for you. Such actions would make any innocent person look guilty if the prosecutor learns about them. Work with your attorney to create your defense: never take the law into your own hands. If you or a loved one are facing white-collar charges, we understand the stress you’re under and we can help. Please contact us at (305) 374-5544 today!

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Weisberg Kainen Mark, PL

As experienced trial lawyers with a passion for justice, our firm provides clients with compelling advocacy, attorney availability, and creative solutions to your tax or criminal law matters.

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