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Need to Do Under Investigation for a White-Collar Crime

— July 9, 2024

White-collar crime can involve a wide range of crimes, including fraud, embezzlement, corruption, and insider trading.

People commit white-collar crimes with privileged access to information, money, or resources. Those trusted to handle that information or resource usually commit white-collar crimes. So it should be no surprise that wealthy, well-educated, and trusted people in their community will be the targets of investigations for white-collar crimes. There are several kinds of white-collar crimes, and they vary widely from conspiracy to legislation.

However, all white-collar crimes share some common characteristics. These include a violation of laws governing business practices and the opportunity to commit a crime with few consequences. It also includes a potential lack of detection due to normal business operations. 

If you are facing a white-collar criminal investigation, contact an experienced Atlanta white collar criminal defense attorney who can protect your rights and help you navigate the complex legal process.

Working On White-Collar Crime Investigation

When someone investigates you for a white-collar crime, the investigation can occur in any of these ways:

  • In-person interviews
  • Telephone interviews
  • Interviews via email or other mediums.

A typical white-collar crime investigation begins with an initial interview. Law enforcement conducted this or an attorney who can interview to get information about the incident and determine what will happen next. Many times, this is the only interview that will take place in a white-collar crime investigation. The process from here varies from case to case. 

In addition, there may be follow-up interviews with law enforcement and attorneys and ongoing surveillance of your business premises. Follow these steps for further investigations of your business’s financial records. It isn’t common for law enforcement to seize business records during a white-collar crime investigation.

Beginning Of A White-Collar Crime Investigation

At the beginning of a white-collar crime investigation, the person is unaware of getting investigated when committing the crime.

White-Collar Crime Investigation 

White-collar crime investigation helps to gather evidence. It may involve interviewing employees or other people who know about the crime and collecting physical and electronic evidence.

Collection Of Data

The collection of data can also help gather evidence for investigating the crime. It would focus on finding all records related to the case, including: 

  1. Any email correspondence, where the money exchange process takes place, the documents involved with the transaction
  2. Phone logs
  3. Financial records 
  4. Surveillance footage from relevant areas. 

Crime Scene Investigation

It can be anything from an office to a residence for a possible break-in committed by someone who was committing a white-collar crime. 

Interviews of Witnesses

Interview witnesses and suspects about what happened and what information they know about it. Next, come subpoenaing records related to the case. 

Contact government Agencies

They were contacting other government agencies that may have information about what happened. Finally, investigators will present their findings at trial.

Gavel against black background; image by Activedia, via
Gavel against black background; image by Activedia, via

Types Of White-collar Crimes 

The FBI defines white-collar crime as “a violation of laws governing business practices committed by those with privileged access to information, money, or resources.” The complexity of these crimes means that they often require multiple agencies and investigators. White-collar crime categories include the following. 

  • Bribery and corruption
  • Securities fraud, economic crimes
  • Fraud against the government
  • Intellectual property violations
  • Extortion

The Legal Process In A White-collar Crime Investigation

To understand how the legal process works in a white-collar crime investigation, it is important that a person first understands what a white-collar crime is. Then, some steps will happen before someone arrests you if you are under investigation for a white-collar crime. 

  1. The company will investigate internally and submit its findings to law enforcement.
  2. Law enforcement will conduct an initial investigation which may lead to one or more of the following:
    • A subpoena
    • A search warrant
    • An arrest warrant
  1. Law enforcement conducts interviews with individuals who might have information about your case.
  2. Law enforcement conducts searches of your property, phone records, emails, and bank accounts. 
  3. Law enforcement may issue an indictment or present evidence to a grand jury to determine if they filled the charges. 
  4. If you fill the charges, you will likely go through pre-trial motions and ultimately go to trial.

Manage A White-collar Crime Investigation

If an investigation of you takes place for a white-collar crime, there are some things you can do to mitigate the risk of being charged with a crime. The first step is to work with your Atlanta white collar criminal defense attorney and legal representatives to create an investigative defense strategy for your case. Next, you can plan how to approach potential lines of questioning from investigators and respond when called in for questioning. 

Finally, your attorney can ensure what is necessary to make informed decisions about every aspect of your case.  For example, what they could bring charges against you, your investigative defense strategy, and How long a white-collar investigation takes from start to finish. 

Another important factor in managing a white-collar crime investigation is knowing when it’s time to take the advice of investigators or other law enforcement officials. It’s important not to resist taking any advice offered by investigators as this could lead to more charges. It may also be beneficial to know what questions investigators ask during an interview so that you can understand what they’re looking for.

Moreover, in some cases, certain keywords or phrases that investigators use may indicate that they are trying to determine if you committed a white-collar crime. For example, “What type of business do you run?” or “When did the company first open?”. Finally, keep note of anything concerning your case throughout the investigation, and keep a journal or blog documenting all interactions with law enforcement officers, lawyers, or other parties involved.


As you may know, white-collar crime can involve a wide range of crimes, including fraud, embezzlement, corruption, and insider trading. Therefore, it’s critical to comprehend how criminal investigations usually proceed if they charge you with a white-collar offense. In addition, if you are suspicious of a white-collar crime, there are things to remember when managing a white-collar crime investigation. 

There are a few practical steps to take before, during, and after an investigation. First, decide whether or not to retain legal counsel. Then, decide whether or not to cooperate with law enforcement. Finally, it is important to remember that your Atlanta white collar criminal defense attorney can require you to sign a plea agreement with the prosecution. 

Moreover, it’s critical to remember that filing criminal charges can damage your image and job even if you are not found guilty of the crimes brought against you.

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