Successful businessmen and women come to me and ask two things: (1) If I get a lawyer, won’t that make me look guilty; (2) I didn’t do anything wrong, so I’ll be glad to answer their questions.
My answers are (1) No! and (2) slow down and think!
First, good cops and prosecutors know that smart people should consult with a lawyer before responding to an FBI request for interview. In private, federal agents tell me they are always puzzled when people just walk in and talk without preparing or getting advice. Good businessmen wouldn’t do it if a reporter or competitor came in out of the blue to ask serious questions.
If a federal investigator of any kind comes to talk to you, it’s time to get a lawyer. Federal investigations do not move quickly – despite what an FBI agent might say, you do have time to stop and think and get advice from a lawyer.
After we figure out as much as we can, we can make the best decision whether to go back and talk to the cops.
During federal investigations, FBI agents and prosecutors place every person in one of three categories: target, subject or witness.
A Target is someone who the feds are pretty sure committed a crime.
A Witness is someone who the feds think did not commit a crime but has information or saw what happened.
A Subject is anyone in between.
My job is to help a witness stay a witness, a subject become only a witness, and a target migrate down to subject or witness.
Winston Churchill once said, “When you’re going through hell, keep going.” We can help you get through the hell of a federal investigation.