If your company is under investigation, it’s important to determine why. This is especially true when investigators work for the U.S. government. One of the first bits of information you’ll want to acquire is whether the issues in question are civil or criminal. It’s sometimes possible that both types of proceedings could be involved.
It’s also helpful to know what agency or department of the federal government is involved. This can help determine whether the investigation is civil or criminal. For example, if you’re served a grand jury subpoena, you know that proceedings may end up in criminal court. The same goes for investigators executing a search warrant, which is rarely done in a civil case.
Conduct your own investigation
The outcome of a federal government investigation may place your business at risk. It’s a good idea to conduct your own internal investigation if you receive word that your company’s being investigated. Of course, you might discover things that you didn’t know, which might not be what you’d hoped for and which may or may not make matters worse.
If you discover that a partner or employee is engaged in illegal activities, you can quickly take steps to resolve the problem. Doing so might place you in a favorable light so that you do not incur any fines since you personally handled the situation. How much you tell your employees about the situation depends on whether they are involved or will be affected by the investigation. You can tell them what they need to know or are entitled to know, and nothing more.
There’s too much at stake to try to go it alone in court
When you own a multi-million dollar company that’s under federal investigation, everything you care about and worked so hard to achieve may fall apart if things don’t go your way in court. The good news is that there’s no reason for you to stand alone, whether proceedings take place in civil court or criminal court, or both.
As soon as you learn that your company is under investigation, you should secure legal support. Experienced guidance and support can mean the difference between a positive outcome and a disaster.