Depending on the agency in which the bribery took place, there could be internal investigative units from within that agency or department also participating in the investigation. The FBI is almost always involved in Virginia federal bribery cases.
If the bribery offense involved a contract with the Department of Justice (DOJ), one might expect there to be internal investigators from DOJ and FBI involved with the investigation. It depends on the nature of the allegations and the location of the alleged bribe as to who might be involved with the investigation. An experienced federal bribery lawyer will be able to help an individual determine how to best defend against such allegations by various government agencies.
The first step in a federal bribery investigation is to determine whether something was inappropriate such as a contract award. There can be different things that initiate a bribery investigation. Bribery cases almost always involve some financial elements. The agencies involved in Virginia federal bribery charges, primarily the FBI, subpoena bank records and look into personal and corporate finances.
They will look at the subject of the bribe such as a federal contract or favors that were given by a person in a position of authority. The issue being investigated is the starting point of the bribery investigation. As with most cases like this, the investigation is about following the money.
It is difficult to prove a bribery case without some sort of documentary evidence. The agencies involved in Virginia federal bribery charges may obtain evidence from one party to the bribe and use that person’s testimony to gather evidence against the other party to the bribery. People involved in bribery schemes are very careful to cover their tracks. Agents can examine cellphone and email records to track communications between the affected parties.
Bribery investigations can take years because those involved in the bribery are cautious and cover their tracks. As a result, the agencies involved in Virginia federal bribery charges must proceed carefully when enforcing the charge. It takes time to develop sources and evidence. A large-scale bribery scheme could take longer to investigate than a bribery that is an isolated incident. The scope of the crime can necessitate a lengthy investigation because there is more evidence to compile against those involved.
When a state agency is involved with a federal bribery investigation in Virginia, they provide support for the federal agencies. Depending on how many agencies are enforcing a federal bribery charge in Virginia, the length of the investigation may be impacted.
Agents working on a federal prosecution in Virginia generally do not place anybody under arrest until they have all of the information and evidence they need and are ready to go to trial. Under certain circumstances, arresting several people can cause some to consider providing evidence to the government.
To that extent, agencies involved in Virginia federal bribery charges are not done investigating because they might talk to other people who were originally charged or at least targeted by the investigation who are now willing to cooperate. As a general rule, if someone is indicted or arrested on a federal bribery claim, the authorities believe they have enough evidence against the person to go forward at the time the person is arrested.