November 20, 2012
White collar crimes
Despite recent reports, prosecutions for white-collar crimes are on the rise. If you are an executive, you need to avoid behaviors that could unintentionally and unknowingly result in a federal criminal investigation.
Here are three tips to protect yourself from being the center of an investigation of a white-collar crime:
1. Be wary of what you say in an email.
Everything can and will be used against you in court which means those emails from five years ago most likely will show up in any type of investigation about your involvement in a white-collar crime. Be careful of what you say to anyone using your work email (or any email account, for that matter). Avoid phrases that me be considered secretive or damaging such as “we shouldn’t be talking about this over e-mail.” Save your important conversations for face-to-face conversations and always write an email considering someone may be reading it someday that may not be able to interpret what was actually going on.
2. Follow your instinct about bad feelings
If something seems different, strange or not right, it most likely is not. Not taking appropriate actions or measures can look just as bad as the people who had a big role in the crime. If you are a corporate executive, you should know the ins and outs of your business and you should know when something is wrong. Ignorance or lack of knowledge will not help you the court of law when your job requires you to know everything.Your best course of action is to trust your instinct, report it to the proper people (e-mail trails come in handy for this) and remove yourself from the situation in every way possible.
3. Get your own lawyer and only consult them
If your company provides corporate counsel, you may think you are in a good position. That is far from the truth. Anything you say to the company’s legal team is going to be used to protect the company, not you. Not everything you say will be kept confidential and they may try to elicit information that will be devastating to your case. After you get your own lawyer, only speak to them about the alleged crime.
When things may look like they will be getting serious about a white-collar crime, contact Daniel C. Miller as soon as possible. We will look out for your interests, not your company’s. White-collar crime is a serious accusation and we are qualified to get your name cleared from any wrongdoing.