As soon as you become aware of a potential instance of wrongdoing, fraud or other type of problematic conduct in your organization, it’s important to decide how to report it to the proper authorities and whether or not the company will fully cooperate with an investigation. In general, your business is going to encounter several choices and issues during an investigation, which we can refer to as the “three Cs.”
These are as follows:
- Cooperation. Organizations must recognize that cooperation means more than a phone call to the Department of Justice to say they’ll cooperate with any investigations that happen. True cooperation means being proactive about offering information to government investigators, producing documents when asked and making any and all witnesses available to investigators for interviews. This requires a fairly significant time investment, but it goes a long way toward making investigations go quickly and smoothly.
- Coordination. Partnering with federal agencies is becoming increasingly common in the United States as they work to combat and eliminate fraud. This is even occurring on an international level, with U.S. regulators establishing relationships with global counterparts. This trend is expected to continue, which means it’s imperative for any organization cooperating with an investigation to retain experienced, communicative attorneys familiar with regulators in their jurisdictions.
- Civil litigation. Litigation often occurs either at the same time as or shortly following a government investigation. If organizations are unsure of how to comply with conflicting laws, they could find themselves in a difficult situation, so it’s important to have strategies in place to address these conflicts and prepare for potential litigation.
For further guidance on how to prepare for an internal investigation, turn to the skilled Dallas legal team, led by Steve Kardell, at Whistleblower Law for Managers.