You’ve probably heard the term “white collar crime” at some point in your life. What you most likely didn’t figure on was facing accusations for one in Florida.
Learning that you are a subject in a criminal investigation for suspected corporate fraud can be a stressful and frightening experience. It’s critical that you not only understand exactly what you’re being accused of but also that you know your rights and how to protect them.
When the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) singles you out
You might wonder exactly what the FBI means when it says it is conducting a corporate fraud investigation. That term typically refers to one or more of the issues included in the following list:
- Misrepresentation of financial status
- Falsified accounting entries
- Inside trading
- Receiving kickbacks
- Falsifying asset values
- Late trading
- Money laundering
The FBI often works closely with other government agencies to investigate corporate fraud. As any person would who has been under arrest and charged with a crime, if you face charges for corporate crimes, you are guaranteed an opportunity to refute the charges by presenting a defense in court.
Other types of fraud that can lead to criminal charges
Perhaps investigators have informed you that you’re suspected of taking part in a Ponzi scheme or pyramid scheme. There are many other types of fraud, including advanced fee fraud and broker embezzlement. In any case, if you’re convicted of such crimes, it can not only ruin your career and reputation, but you could end up doing time in jail.
The FBI makes mistakes
Sometimes, what the FBI thinks has happened is quite different from what has actually happened. For instance, you might be accused of falsifying accounting records when, in fact, a few simple clerical mistakes are to blame. Being subject to a federal investigation is no walk in the park.
Your employer may place you on unpaid leave from work until the case is fully adjudicated. The newspaper may publish something or, in some cases, a TV station, which would undoubtedly cause embarrassment and, possibly, cause trouble for your family within your community.
Achieving as positive an outcome as possible
It’s always best to be respectful and cooperative when police arrest you or the court formally indicts you for a corporate crime. However, you don’t have to do anything you’re not required by law to do. This would include not having to answer questions under interrogation with the benefit of legal representation.
In such a case, you would be able to invoke your Fifth Amendment rights to remain silent. It is true that anything you say or do can later be of use by prosecutors to incriminate you in a court of law. The more you know about how to protect your rights ahead of time, the greater chance you might have of mitigating your circumstances.