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How to Handle Financial Crime Investigators

Many businesses and people think they can answer an investigator's questions without a lawyer present because they believe they have done nothing wrong. However, the first thing they should understand is that once a person is the subject to questing in a criminal investigation, they may soon become a target of that investigation.

Consequently, the first step after learning that an investigator wants to question you is to secure the services of an attorney who can serve as a buffer between you and the investigating agency and ensure that the agents do not ask for too much or try to get information they are not entitled to. The attorney may advise you to not provide any information until they have an opportunity to review the issue and put you in a position that does not expose you to potential criminal charges later.

If law enforcement ever asks a question or is looking into your affairs, the best strategy for how to handle a financial crime investigator in Michigan is to say nothing and call a lawyer. Once you say something to an investigator, there is no taking it back. It is better to exercise your fifth amendment right and let your defense attorney protect your interests.

Timeframe For Responding to An Investigating Agency

When a Michigan attorney knows what the investigating agency is looking into and is satisfied with an internal review of everything that they understand the basic theories of the prosecution, then they are able to develop a strategy of how to handle the financial crime investigators. In many cases, if the party did nothing wrong, they will likely want to submit everything asked for as soon as possible to ensure that they appear to be cooperating with the investigation.

When the attorney is satisfied that there is a viable explanation that could cause the investigation to be terminated or slowed down by providing appropriate information, there is a better chance of a satisfactory resolution. One would not want to appear to be slow in producing the information unless they have some reason to do so because that may be a signal to the government that there is something that merits additional investigation and resources. On the other hand, financial crimes are often complex, and a thorough investigation by the defense attorney takes time. In these instances, a delay may be warranted. Plus, your attorney can act as a buffer and take the heat for the delay, thereby protecting your interests moving forward.

Lying to Federal Agents During an Investigation

Lying to the investigating agency during an investigation constitutes a felony offense, punishable by five years in prison. When someone is confronted, and seemingly innocuous questions are asked, a potential trap they may fall into is inadvertently saying things they do not mean to say or things that are subject to adverse interpretation. They also may not have a clear recollection of events and in trying to be compliant, give answers that turn out not to be accurate. In an attempt to satisfy the agents that nothing illegal went on, the person might give an answer that is not fully complete or one that was subject to a prior review of all the background documents. Consequently, they could subsequently be unfairly accused of having lied or misrepresented the facts to the agency.

This is one of the reasons why an individual should have an attorney from the beginning. The attorney can review all the documents that might refresh the person's recollection about what happened. If the attorney decides it is appropriate to answer the question, the individual can give a full and complete answer as opposed to a partial answer or one based on a recollection that is incompatible with other facts. Working with a lawyer to determine what to say and what to keep quiet about is one of the most effective ways of how to handle a financial crime agent.

Let an Attorney Help You Handle the Investigators

A person is always better off taking some time to review documents or reports before they answer rather than relying on their recollection of what happened or what was said. If a person is at a point where the government considers immunizing them and using them as a witness but the person provided inaccurate information, they are not going to be viewed as a credible witness and all such deals will be off the table. For more advice on how to handle financial crime investigators in Michigan, get in touch with a lawyer experienced in handling these cases right away.

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