What are some of the early signs that a government agency has launched an investigation? Subtle clues may surface. For example, a trusted friend or colleague may start asking questions, or sending emails that detail criminal acts.
Those inquiries may be fishing expeditions, or an effort to get incriminating evidence, like an admission of complicity in wrongdoing. It’s important to understand that, in many cases, informants help to expand government investigations by providing information, hoping to lessen their own exposure to culpability.
Investigators want to learn as much as possible, and they want to bring as many people as possible into the investigation. By questioning people as either witnesses, subjects, or targets,
investigators gather information to build cases. In most instances, investigators urge witnesses to be discrete if they’re seeking to advance possibilities for leniency.
Besides going after witnesses that provide information, investigators may also seek cooperation from financial institutions. Those questions can, and often do, lead to account closures without an explanation. Although a small business owner may be oblivious to the costs of a government investigation, financial institutions have a deep bench of lawyers on staff, keeping an eye out for the institutions’ interests.
All corporate leaders want to mitigate risk that can lead to damages against a firm. Executives in a financial institution, therefore, may elect to sever ties with an account holder if they learn of a government investigation. They do not want investigators dragging them into depositions or inquiries.
Consider, for example, the problems and expense that Deutsche Bank experienced as a result of the endless government investigations into the byzantine finances of President Donald Trump. Every member of our team at Compliance Mitigation can offer insight into the ways that financial institutions will close accounts after they learn of a government investigation.
In anticipation of disruptions to both personal and business accounts, anyone that owns a company or works in a company should develop a best-practice compliance guide to help avoid the disruptions that a government investigation can bring. Executives and employees must also be aware of, and prepared for, the steps to take when they suspect a government investigation might already be underway.