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Fox Rothschild LLP

A Primer on Government and Internal Investigations

November 2011

“White-collar” criminal investigations and indictments are on the rise. White-collar crime often involves allegations reaching across numerous disciplines, including, among other things, securities violations, such as Foreign Corrupt Practice Act (FCPA), insider trading and financial fraud; mail or wire fraud; and other violations of regulatory statutes. Allegations of a false statement made to a government agent or entity or illegal exportation of tanks and anti-tank weapons are examples of recently prosecuted white-collar cases, as are other crimes like campaign finance fraud and bribing foreign officials. Additionally, severe fines and incarceration are now common in sentences for white-collar offenses.

Although all criminal activity has a certain complexity to it, white-collar crimes tend to be more document intensive and involve difficult proof patterns. The factual complexity of white-collar matters tests counsels’ ability to clearly present the case to the judge, jury or government agency that would determine if a violation occurred. Retaining competent counsel is a critical first step to avoiding crushing publicity, insolvency and/or incarceration for white-collar offenses.

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