Government Investigations.

Government Investigations, or litigation, can occur at the local, state, county, or federal level through dozens of different regulatory, investigative, or enforcement agencies. Sometimes referred to as White Collar matters, these investigations can relate to a person’s profession, place of business, or financial interests. We defend individuals or businesses under government investigation, facing civil or criminal liability due to their actions.

Focus Areas:

  • Government Investigations
  • Grand Jury Investigations
  • Litigation and Trials

Government Investigations

Government investigations occur when an investigative agency initiates a targeted investigation to determine whether a violation of law has occurred. These usually occur when a complaint has been lodged. Complaints can come from external sources like customers, competitors, or the public. Complaints can also come from inside a company from employees or internal investigations. Depending on the industry and the regulations, government investigation can also occur because of onsite random investigations like safety inspections or during industry wide audits to verify general compliance. The investigations target entire businesses, individuals, or groups of employees.

  • Subject of a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation into allegations of securities fraud.
  • Subject of a Federal Bureau of Investigation  investigation into allegations of corporate fraud.
  • Employer in a Department of Labor investigation into a complaint of violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Government investigations can have serious consequences for individuals, businesses, and their employees. They may lead to charges that can cause businesses to lose their right to contract with the government, or to operate in their entirety, or that may require them to comply with severe financial penalties. Individuals may also be subject to losing their freedom, property, and financial resources. Investigations can be the precursor to an official criminal or regulatory matter, or they may take place in tandem with another investigation.

CLF has experience dealing with government investigations. We understand how to help clients get themselves out of the crosshairs, reduce their potential liability and exposure, and negotiate more favorable resolutions, including global settlements ending parallel proceedings.

Grand Jury Investigations

A grand jury is a panel of citizens empowered by law to conduct legal proceedings and investigate whether criminal charges should be brought. As part of their investigation, they have the authority to subpoena physical evidence and compel persons to testify. They review the evidence deliberate and decide whether the target should be criminally indicted.

  • Subpoenaed to appear as a witness related to a Tax Fraud allegation.
  • Subpoenaed to produce documents and records related to a Corporate Embezzlement allegation.
  • Business partners subpoenaed to provide testimony related to a Trade Secrets allegation.

The target of a grand jury investigation is usually on the precipice of a criminal indictment and the potential loss of freedom and financial interests that come with it. However, even those asked to appear before a grand jury as witnesses can testify or provide evidence that exposes them to subsequent criminal liability.

We have experience with high stakes grand jury proceedings and help our clients understand the full scope of their rights and obligations. We can lessen our client’s burden by, for example, negotiating subpoenas with narrower scopes or more reasonable response times. If their testimony is needed, we know how to prepare our clients for the special demands related to appearing before a grand jury.

Litigation and Trials

White Collar litigation and trials occur when a criminal allegation against an individual, business, or corporation is charged, and the matters proceed or trials. Here, the government must prove the allegations beyond a reasonable doubt. The scope and length of litigation varies by the complexity and seriousness of the underlying allegations and the number of defendants involved.

  • State Court – Wage and hour laws
  • State and Federal Court – Securities Fraud
  • Federal Court – Tax and Wire Fraud
  • Federal Court – Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act (RICO)

Legal counsel is an absolute necessity whenever a defendant is the subject of litigation. If convicted, a defendant faces severe criminal consequences, including loss of freedom, forfeiture of assets, and financial penalties. White Collar litigation and trials are the most complicated criminal cases brought by the government.

Experienced trial counsel familiar with experience in high stakes white collar matters is essential to a successful outcome. Attorneys inexperienced with this advanced niche of practice find it insurmountable. Our attorneys are highly effective and experienced White Collar trial practitioners and know how to execute a strong defense. This trial experience also strengthens our practice in all other phases of a case because we know how to build a winning case and can understand earlier when a client has good arguments against their legal liability. This direct experience can lead to a matter being resolved more quickly and cost effectively.

Civil Enforcement Investigations and Actions

A Civil Enforcement Action is a term for formal civil actions brought by government investigators and attorneys against businesses, corporations, and employees for actions in violation of federal, state, county, or city statutes and regulations. Violations of civil and regulatory rules can carry severe financial burdens, loss of licenses, and even criminal liability and penalties.

  • Subject of Department of Labor investigation into violations of the Family and Medical Leave Act.
  • Subject of Department of Health investigation into a Healthcare Fraud.
  • Subject of Securities and Exchange Commission investigation into allegations of Securities Fraud.

Businesses and their employees operating in a regulated industry are all potential targets of enforcement actions. Civil enforcement actions can have serious consequences for businesses and their employees. Investigations may lead to filing official civil, or even criminal, charges that can expose a business to severe financial penalties, sanctions preventing the continued operation of the business, loss of ability to obtain government contracts, and overall loss of reputation and standing in an industry.

At CLF, we have experience dealing with enforcement actions as they relate to businesses and their employees. We understand how to help clients get themselves out of the crosshairs and find resolutions before an enforcement action is filed. If an enforcement action is initiated against a client, we know how to reduce their potential liability and exposure and negotiate more favorable settlements.

Administrative Investigations and Actions

An administrative investigation or action occurs when an administrative agency is taking actions to enforce its own regulations against a person or business.

Administrative investigations and actions are complex matters that can carry significant penalties to a person’s business and livelihood.

  • Subject of Department of Labor investigation into violations of the Family and Medical Leave Act
  • Subject of Department of Health investigation into a Healthcare Fraud
  • Subject of Securities and Exchange Commission investigation into allegations of Securities Fraud
  • Department of Labor – Wage and Safety Matter
  • Department of Revenue – Tax Matter
  • Department of Financial Institutions – Securities
  • Department of Defense – Debarment

At CLF, we have experience representing clients in these matters directly and when they track parallel civil, licensing, and civil matters. We know how to effectively leverage all pending matters to get the best result for our clients and limit their exposure to liability and penalties.

Professional Licensing Investigations and Actions

Professional Licensed Boards that have authority to investigate professionals for conduct that relates to their profession, which sometimes can include personal conduct that breaches ethical rules or violates the law. If the investigator substantiates the claim, then the matter can be referred for formal charges which could result in adverse action to the professional’s license, career, livelihood, and reputation.

  • Medical practitioner alleged to have committed an act of Medical Malpractice.
  • Legal practitioner alleged to have committed an act of Legal Malpractice.
  • Licensed professional alleged to have committed a criminal act related, or unrelated, to their practice.
  • Medical Quality and Assurance Commission Hearing
  • Department of Health Investigations
  • Federal Aviation Commission

Professionals have spent considerable time and resources to achieve their education and effort in building a professional reputation. Allegations of wrongdoing, if substantiated can have an adverse effect on a professional’s license status, ability to earn a living and reputation. Experienced and effective counsel are essential to achieving the best outcome. CLF has over three decades of experience counseling professional clients and assisting them during professional licensing investigations and licensing boards.

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