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Corporate fraud: What to do if you're accused

Anyone who commits fraud is putting him- or herself at risk of criminal charges at the federal level. This is a particular risk if you are caught participating in corporate fraud or are accused of being involved with corporate fraud.

Corporate fraud includes various acts such as falsifying your financial records, late trading, the misuse of corporate property and others.

What should you do if you're accused of corporate fraud?

The first thing you need to do is to speak with your attorney. You have a right to speak with your attorney and to have an attorney present if the police or investigators wish to speak with you. Your attorney can let you know if it's a good or bad idea to answer certain questions and if doing either could implicate you in a criminal act.

What should you avoid doing if you're accused of fraud?

For starters, don't do anything that could obstruct justice. For instance, don't try to hide information or limit an officer's access to a room or file when he or she has a warrant to view it. Obstructing justice comes with its own penalties that you want to avoid at all costs.

Next, remember that you don't want to do or say anything that could imply or confirm your connection to a criminal act. It's within your rights not to do or say anything that could result in a criminal charge. In fact, the Fifth Amendment makes it clear that you have a right not to say or do anything that could self-incriminate you.

Any arresting officer should give you an opportunity to call your attorney soon after arrest. If you're not arrested but know an investigation is going on, getting in touch with your attorney early is a good idea to prepare for the future.

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