What do you do if federal agents suddenly show up at your workplace and want to ask you a few questions? You’re worried about where things will go if you answer them. You’re also worried about what will happen if you refuse to answer.
So, what do you do? Remember these facts if federal agents are waiting in your lobby:
1. The investigation could be about anything
You may not have done anything wrong. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) may be looking into someone in your supply pipeline. They could be investigating someone you know personally. However, you or your business may also be the target of the investigation. Maybe your billing practices are being questioned or an employee has covertly used your computers to access the wrong websites.
Since you don’t know what the investigation is about, it’s better to assume that you shouldn’t answer any questions without an attorney present.
2. Be very careful what you do say to the agents
Sometimes, people panic and blurt out the first thing they think when they’re asked a surprise question by an agent. Often, they say something like, “I don’t know,” or “I don’t remember,” in response to whatever question was asked. They know their answer isn’t true — but they’re trying to buy some time before they do any real talking.
The problem is that while you have every right to firmly invoke your right to remain silent and insist on an attorney’s guidance, lying to a federal agent is also a crime. Once investigators catch you in a lie, you can bet they’ll use the leverage they gain over you to their advantage.
Our office believes that it’s always safer to let an attorney decide when it is in your best interests to stay quiet and when you should cooperate. You need someone in your corner when you’re potentially facing a federal investigation. Contact our office for more information.