Federal embezzlement cases are extensively investigated using a range of methods. The prosecutor can use subpoenas to get documents such as bank records, emails, text messages, and phone records. The prosecutor may use recorded phone calls, informants, or cooperative witnesses who would otherwise be charged with the crime. Speak with a knowledgeable attorney to learn more about Virginia federal embezzlement investigation.
Law enforcement may need a warrant to obtain documents when there are no enumerated exceptions that allow them to get the documents. Typically, documents can be obtained through a subpoena which is a much easier way for the government to get the documents such as bank records. A warrant can be used when the government wants to search a particular residence, dwelling, or office to try and get documents.
Documents that are housed within a financial institution can be obtained more efficiently through the use of a subpoena. Emails, for example, can be obtained through a subpoena. The government does not necessarily send the person a warrant for those. For things that have an expectation of privacy such as a phone, a warrant comes into play.
The government must show there is a probable cause that a crime was committed such that a person’s expectation of privacy and the information on their phone can be outweighed by the need of the government to get that information.
Many law enforcement agencies can be involved in a federal embezzlement investigation depending on the alleged type embezzlement. The FBI could be involved. For example, an allegation that occurs at the Department of Labor could involve the Inspector General’s Office of that agency. Local officials and law enforcement are sometimes involved depending on the facts of the case. Sometimes, the IRS is involved in a Virginia federal embezzlement investigation.
In the Eastern District and the Western District of Virginia, the federal embezzlement cases are prosecuted aggressively and long prison sentences are often sought as a consequence of a conviction. The Eastern District of Virginia has federal courthouses in Alexandria, Richmond, Newport News, and Norfolk that have the rocket docket where cases move quickly. That is unique to the Eastern District of Virginia. The Western District of Virginia does not move as quickly.
One common misconception regarding federal embezzlement is that because there are no allegations of violence, the cases are not treated as seriously. The opposite is true; these offenses are treated most aggressively. People serve long prison sentences for embezzlement.
A person should contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as they have an indication they are the subject of a Virginia federal embezzlement investigation. It is never too early to contact an attorney because a person should never attempt to do this on their own. They should never talk to law enforcement on their own or attempt to try and talk their way out of an investigation. It is just not possible.
It is important to hire a federal investment lawyer that has experience working in Virginia because there are differences about how things are done in every federal district. Things move quickly in the Eastern District of Virginia, whereas, the Western District of Virginia moves slower.
The prosecutors and cultures are different, so it is important to have an attorney with experience in each district, whether it is the Eastern or Western District. There are nuances as to how things get done. Attorneys develop relationships with prosecutors and get to know the judges. It is easier to accomplish the goal of getting the best result possible for the client.
However, time is of the essence when a Virginia federal embezzlement investigation is underway. It is highly recommended to contact an attorney if found to be the target of an investigation.