The Street, white collar criminal investigations are on the rise as the government
increases their efforts in trying to find those who are responsible for
the various financial fraud cases in the past few years after the economic
drop in 2008. Agents will be looking for certain behaviors that will give
them away, and in turn will result in criminal investigations. Executives
are encouraged to avoid any behaviors and actions that may otherwise make
them look as though they are “up to something.” The Street
offers five protective measures for executives and individuals to take
in order to prevent
white collar criminal investigations.
Don’t assume that your legal discussions with your company are safe.
Hire a lawyer immediately. While many executives may believe that their information is privileged
between the company and employees regarding legal matters, this is not
entirely true. This means that if the feds decide to come talking to your
company, your private conversations may not always remain silent. This
is also called “corporate Miranda” meaning that one person
represents the company rather than each as individuals. Many companies
often ignore this, and assume that everyone in the company will remain
loyal, and in some cases this may not happen. Whatever the situation may
be for you, hiring a personal attorney as soon as possible is encouraged.
All words spoken over email can be used against you. As with anything in life, be careful with what you talk about over email.
Once information is put out over the internet, it can be used against
you, even if you and your company are completely innocent of a white collar
crime. Carefully read through your emails to make sure that the language
used can’t be interpreted wrongly. For example, as an executive,
even if you are trying to boost the company moral for the quarter sales,
phrases such as “killing the competition” could be interpreted
as something more serious. If you ever have important details to discuss,
always try to do so in person to protect you and your company.
Be wise with your company accounting. When federal investigators are looking into a company for things like
fraud, their accounting records are some of the first places they will
turn to for red flags. Use discretion in your company spending, and keep
track of everything. Don’t try to be smart with your accounting
tactics, because this may come around and bite you in the future. It is
essential that executive realize their role in the companies, and just
because you may not directly be controlling the company finances, it doesn’t
mean that the crimes can’t be pointed back at you. In the event
that there are red flags in your numbers, this would be a smart time to
contact your trusted Riverside County criminal defense attorney at Hanson,
Gorian, Bradford & Hanich.
Use your gut; if something’s feels “off”, it probably is. A lot of white collar criminal charges happen because when they realized
that something wasn’t right in their company, they didn’t
speak up. Choosing to stay quiet when there are criminal dealings within
your company can only hurt you later on, so it is encouraged that if something
smells funny, you should speak up.
Don’t try to cover up the scandal! Once you realize there is a concern within your company, trying to cover
it up may result in severe consequences with the law as well, if not worse.
In the event that your cover up fails, you and your company could wind
up in serious trouble. So as the advice states above, if something is
wrong speak up and contact an attorney immediately. At our firm we have
years of experience with white collar crimes,
contact us today for any questions or concerns you might have!