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Officer and Director Claims

When prosecutors or law enforcement officers believe that a business, its directors, officers, or employees have engaged in wrongdoing, serious criminal charges can result.

Federal law enforcement and prosecutors can bring criminal and civil charges arising from violations of any number of statutes, such as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the False Claims Act, the Sarbanes-Oxely Act, the Federal Election Campaign Act, the Sherman Act, and numerous other statutes. Federal Regulatory bodies like the Securities and Exchange Commission, Federal Election Commission, and Federal Trade Commission can also investigate these matters and bring enforcement actions that may result in serious fines and other penalties. Indeed, such regulatory investigations and actions may lead to criminal charges. The government has wide discretion to bring these actions, but recent court decisions may narrow the types of offendses that can be brought under some of these statutes and the burden that the government must satisfy. Again, many important questions will need to be decided by future courts and the interpretation of many key aspects of the law are subject to various interpretations. Consequently, it is critical that companies and their key personnel get ahead of these issues with strong compliance programs. When problems do arise, it is critical that businesses and the relevant personnel get strong and aggressive legal counsel to confront issue, even if a possible violation is simply suspected.

Indeed, strong and competent counsel for all involved is even more important as the DOJ continues to vigorously enforce the Yates Memorandum, which calls for prosecutions of individuals suspected of misconduct and has resulted in an incentive for companies to report suspected of violations. When an internal or government investigation appears imminent, best practices call for witnesses, subjects, and target retaining independent counsel.

Harvey & Binnall understands the high stakes at play with these important issues. The firm’s lawyers provide zealous representation to people and companies in these situations. They know that the early stages are key in developing and implementing a successful strategy for resisting investigations and prosecutions. They also are proud of their work on joint defense teams when there are multiple subjects, targets or defendants. While the firm always pursues the individual interest of our specific clients first and foremost, they also know that often everyone is better off when they face the government together as part of a unified team.