Internal Investigations: Branded a Corporate Criminal

Posted on July 14th, 2010 by David Smith

Caught in the storm of a corporate internal investigation, many executives never stop to consider how being indicted would impact themselves, their families, their finances and their hard-earned reputations.  One potential consequence of an internal investigation is that the corporation will provide the government with the investigation’s findings or that the corporation will enter into a plea agreement with the government that may leave executives out in the cold. Consider the recent article “Executives find reputations don’t return after criminal charges dropped” from Bloomberg News and the “You Are Closer to Being Indicted Than You Think… ” article in the Construction Financial Management Association magazine describing the wrenching experiences of executives who were indicted but had charges dismissed pre-trial or were acquitted at trial.  Executives who are or may become the subjects of internal investigation should always be mindful of the risk of prosecution and its life-changing consequences.  Executives who are caught in the arduous situation of serving the best interests of their company and wanting to protect themselves and their families need to consider hiring their own attorney during the investigation.  Further, the attorneys conducting the internal investigation, in considering the best interests of the company, should also consider the impact of the investigation on the company’s personnel and the ability of the company to function post-investigation.

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