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What to Do If the Authorities Are Investigating You for a White Collar Crime
When it comes to federal loans or programs, you have navigated through so much bureaucracy and red tape that by the time you end up on the government’s radar, you might not even realize a mistake has been made. In the past, we’ve covered some of the basics of white-collar crimes and what they constitute, but it’s equally important to know what to do if the government suspects you of committing fraud.
Are You at Risk?
Although the term “white-collar” is associated with the wealthy “elite,” it’s actually more common than many people think. Anyone from individuals to businesses and non-profit organizations can commit a variety of white-collar crimes. Soon after the CARES act passed and business owners began receiving Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan funds, the government began investigating the use of those funds. As time passes, more and more businesses will continue to be under investigation with or without their knowledge.
How Do I Know If I’m Under Investigation?
Unlike traditional law enforcement, federal agents tend to use subtler tactics to gain the information they’re looking for. For example, if you’re a business owner who received a PPP loan or a healthcare provider who frequently accepts Medicaid or Medicare patients, you may receive a call out of the blue from a government employee to ask you general questions. In this early stage, they might not have even begun the investigation, however, anything you say could still be considered the evidence and be used against you. In some cases, you may receive a letter that you’re under investigation, or receive a subpoena for business documents.
What Should I Do If the Government Contacts Me?
If you receive a call to meet with an agent or government official, the most important thing to do is find the legal counsel that is experienced in representing individuals charged with white-collar crimes. Do not discuss anything with the government official and buy time by rescheduling if possible. By discussing details with an official, you may be at risk of accidentally incriminating yourself even if there was no wrongdoing. Although the questions usually start as benign or highly general, once an investigation is launched against you, the federal government uses its extensive resources to seek a swift conviction. As soon as you believe you are suspected of committing a federal white-collar crime, immediately contact a lawyer. A lawyer will work with you to preemptively navigate your case and respond to any probing questions from an official whether there is an investigation or not.
If you have already received a call from a government agency regarding your business or personal affairs, do not mistake the opportunity to be collaborative with them as absolution from the problem. When your personal freedom and reputation are on the line, immediate action is required. Reach out to Petkovich Law firm today by filling out a contact form or by calling our office at (305) 358-8003.
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