White Collar Crimes: What are the Benefits of Conducting an Internal Investigation?
White Collar Criminal Defense By Harvey Binnall PLLC - 2018/07/31 at 08:21pm
If you are currently under investigation by a government agency, or if you are simply concerned that you (or an employee/agent) might have committed a regulatory violation that could expose your organization to criminal liability, then it’s important to get in touch with an experienced Alexandria white collar defense attorney for further guidance. Qualified white collar criminal defense attorneys will work with you to conduct an internal investigation and identify potential violations.
Many businesses don’t fully understand the value of performing an internal investigation — after all, the internal investigation may be seen as an “extra” expense and effort that is not justified by the circumstances. Further, there is no legal necessity to perform an internal investigation.
That mentality is short-sighted, however. There are some significant advantages to performing an internal investigation. Consider the following non-exhaustive list.
The Value of Secrecy
Private, internal investigations are frequently engaged as a proactive measure to avoid the damage caused by sensitive information going public (pursuant to a government investigation or white collar criminal litigation). Negative publicity can seriously damage your brand, and cause a shakeup in terms of investor confidence.
Uncovering System Failures With Regard to Compliance
Your organization may have systemic compliance issues that can be identified and corrected before you further violate existing regulation. Thorough internal investigations are critical for uncovering these system failures. In many cases, the violation is not the result of willful or malicious intent, but of “convenience” due to the way a particular internal system/process is setup.
Deterring Non-Criminal Negative Conduct
Even if you have not been charged with a white collar crime, there are good, business-friendly reasons to perform an internal investigation. Though it is often believed that businesses must only do the bare minimum to comply with regulation, some businesses may have heightened expectations of their employees.
Perhaps a financial analytics firm prides itself on its cautious, data-driven process when it comes to investment recommendations, and has developed strict guidelines for employees. Employee violations of these internal guidelines may not be against the law, but may still be a concern for the firm. An internal investigation may give the firm insight into how this process is being implemented, and which employees (and teams) are cutting corners.
Incrimination of Private Actors
With the issuance of the Yates Memo in 2015, the Department of Justice signaled a change in policy. Now, individuals are to be held accountable for their criminal actions, even if they did so while employed with a larger organization — for example, businesses are offered cooperation credits for disclosures of facts that point to the liability of certain individuals within the organization. As such, a comprehensive internal investigation will give your business the opportunity to identify those “bad actors” well in advance of the government investigation or prosecution.
Preparedness for an Eventual Lawsuit
In the event that the government proceeds with criminal prosecution of your business (and individuals therein), the fact that you performed an internal investigation will give you a significant advantage during litigation — you will have much more information available with which to negotiate a favorable resolution.
Contact an Experienced Alexandria White Collar Defense Attorney for Help
Here at Harvey & Binnall, PLLC, our attorneys have decades of experience serving the interests of a range of organizations in white collar criminal defense scenarios, including those that could benefit from a comprehensive internal investigation. We are well-equipped to perform an internal investigation that evaluates your potential liabilities, and in the event that criminal prosecution proceeds, we have an extensive track record of success representing white collar criminal defendants.
Call (703) 888-1943 or submit an online form today to schedule an initial consultation with an experienced Alexandria white collar defense attorney.