How intimidating is an FBI raid?

If the FBI arrived at our place of business with a search warrant and wanted to interview us as they were seizing documents and computers, how would we react? Would we really have the presence of mind to say we want to be very helpful and cooperative, but really need to have someone experienced (a white-collar criminal defense attorney) lead us through the process. A friend recently had this happen and it was the first time I clearly understood the intimidation factor of having guys/women with that very large font FBI on their bullet proof vests and carrying big guns, who want to interview you right then. It seems to me that a FBI interview is similar to a deposition, which we carefully prepare for to be certain we don’t speculate, we answer thoroughly and we stick to what we actually know. (“Just the facts ma’am”). We need someone to lead us through that process so we’re clear what we actually know vs. what we’ve “pieced together”, heard from a co-worker, etc. is clearly defined in our mind so we’re not rattling on about things we really know nothing about. The water fountain gossip is not what we “know” and it’s not up to us to “piece together information”. We can get in a lot of trouble for providing false information to the FBI so having someone guiding us through the process who knows the rules and can help us separate what we “know” from speculation and gossip is important. This example has made me rethink whether it’s just a company that should know a criminal defense lawyer. Do we even know how to source a white-collar criminal defense lawyer to contact? Maybe we should do that groundwork now.

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About hopsuz

Experienced leader, both as CEO and as board Chair. Founder of the 25 year old The Hopgood Group, LLC. Co-author of the award winning "Board Leadership for the Company in Crisis". Consultant to companies large and small. Expertise in board evaluations and leadership challenges.
This entry was posted in Board Leadership, Crisis Management, Culture / Ethics, Prepare for the crisis and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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