Grand jury subpoenas are often used in federal cases to get records that might expose fraud activities. The authorities may execute a search warrant to go into a business and seize all the files, computers, and other business materials to look for evidence of wrongdoing. This can be devastating to a company that is unable to conduct business without its computers. Search warrants may be issued for doctors’ offices or accountants’ offices. Although not common, a search warrant could be issued for a lawyer’s office.
The prosecution gathers the documents through a grand jury subpoena or search warrants. The investigating federal agency conducts interviews and may try to do so when they come to a business with a search warrant hoping to catch people off guard. Unfortunately, people frequently do the interview, which is a terrible idea because anything they say in the interview can be used against them. Frequently, that is when the prosecution obtains some of the most devastating evidence to use against someone at a trial.
Through the collection of documents and records, the investigators create a paper trail to prove their case of fraud. They interview witnesses who might fill in the details about what was done and how it was done. Read below for more information regarding DC federal fraud investigations. And if you are being investigated, reach out to an experienced DC federal fraud lawyer today.
When fraud is committed against the federal government, the Department of Justice is involved in the investigation. Depending on the agency, the respective inspector general’s office may begin the investigation. Sometimes, organizations such as the Secret Service and the IRS have their own investigators who get involved and the FBI may participate in an investigation. Usually, the lawyers from the Department of Justice and investigators from the DOJ or the individual agency team up to investigate and prosecute the case.
It is imperative to obtain a lawyer early when it comes to DC federal fraud investigations. The questions used by the defense attorney depend on the specific case. For example, with a contracting case where there is an allegation of fraud in winning the contract, the attorney determines why the actions taken by the defendant were appropriate. They show that the defendant was not trying to conceal any kind of misconduct or deceive the government. Sometimes, there are technical violations especially in scenarios where the government requires a person to certify that they have a certain type of insurance, a specific number of employees, or a particular level of experience. Other times, the issue is that the defendant has trouble keeping the required documentation correctly and did not intentionally set out to defraud the government. It is important to make sure that the government distinguishes between honest mistakes and criminal intent.
A person should speak to an attorney before answering questions from law enforcement officers in a fraud case to avoid being unprepared for the interview. Law enforcement officers try to catch employees of a business off guard when executing a search warrant. When they arrive, they may try to question employees while they are searching the place of business or someone’s home.
For example, they might be ask questions about documents the individual has not reviewed in two or three years. They may ask someone about conversations with people they might not remember speaking to or meeting. A person is at a tremendous disadvantage to answer questions without reviewing documents to recall what took place and why. A lawyer may help someone determine whether they should give an interview at all.
An individual has the right to not speak to law enforcement officers at that stage. Usually, there is a benefit to not giving a statement early on because one does not know what the authorities are pursuing from a prosecution standpoint.
People being investigated for federal fraud should contact a lawyer as soon as they become aware of the government’s investigation. An experienced defense attorney determines the focus of the investigation and identifies the information the prosecution has including documentation and witnesses. They put together evidence that tells the defendant’s side of what happened to prove that fraud was not committed in that particular case. Call today to learn more about how a lawyer could help you with DC federal fraud investigations.