Civil Investigative Demands
Critical Advice and Representation From Your Dedicated Los Angeles Healthcare Defense Lawyer
Healthcare is big business and so, unfortunately, is healthcare fraud. The Department of Justice goes after healthcare fraud aggressively, and it seems like hardly a day goes by that the DOJ isn’t launching some new task force to root out fraud in the healthcare industry.
It’s important to know that not all healthcare fraud investigations turn into criminal prosecutions. Quite often the government pursues cases under the federal False Claims Act, and even when the government declines to pursue a matter, the individual who “related” the suspected fraud could still bring a case on behalf of the government and net a huge financial reward at the expense of the healthcare provider if successful.
When the DOJ is in the process of investigating a potential crime or alleged wrongdoing related to your healthcare practice, you might find yourself presented with a Civil Investigative Demand, which is a special procedure that should be taken every bit as seriously as a subpoena in a criminal case. If you’ve been hit with a Civil Investigative Demand by the DOJ, it’s important to respond promptly and appropriately to avoid the serious negative consequences that could follow.
See below for important information about Civil Investigative Demands, or CIDs, including what these things are, how you’ll know if you’re being investigated, and what to do if federal agents come knocking at your door. If you’ve already been approached by federal agents or been served with a CID, it’s not too late to contact the Law Offices of Stanley L. Friedman for personalized advice and effective representation from a former federal prosecutor turned white-collar criminal defense attorney with nearly 30 years of experience defending people charged with healthcare crimes and financial fraud.
What Are Civil Investigative Demands?
Civil Investigative Demands are formal requests for information made by the Department of Justice (DOJ) or other governmental agencies. Typically, these demands are part of a larger investigation into suspected fraud or illegal activity. The agency might request documents, written answers, or oral testimony as part of its investigation. It’s a little like the government saying, “Hey, we have some questions, and we’d really appreciate your cooperation in answering them.” Of course, the words “investigative” and “demand” in a Civil Investigative Demand might clue you in that something a little more serious is going on here, and a CID is not just a friendly request.
A CID is an administrative subpoena. It’s issued outside of a court order but is still a formal government requirement. You must respond to a CID or face negative consequences for failing to comply. Although a CID is an information-gathering tool used in conjunction with a civil investigation, the CID process could implicate significant financial liability and even lead to criminal charges as well.
The DOJ issues CIDs at its discretion, with no litigation required. Often the recipient of a CID is given a huge document request with a short deadline to comply, forcing you to respond with little idea about why the DOJ wants this information or what it intends to do with it. An experienced healthcare fraud defense attorney can help you figure out what is going on so you can respond appropriately while protecting your rights and positioning yourself for the best result.
How to Know If You’re Being Investigated
Normally, you’ll get the CID via certified mail, or it might be hand-delivered by an agent. Either way, the message is clear: you’re on the radar for a potential investigation. It’s also possible to find out you’re being investigated if you receive a subpoena or if agents show up at your business or home. Keep an eye on your mail and be alert to any unexpected visits from government representatives.
What to Do When Agents Knock on Your Door
First off, don’t panic. Your rights still apply, even in stressful situations like this one. You’re under no obligation to answer questions on the spot, and it would generally be a mistake to do so. It’s perfectly okay to say, “I’d like to consult with my attorney before answering any questions.” And speaking of attorneys, that’s your next step.
When it comes to healthcare and financial fraud criminal cases, having an experienced and knowledgeable attorney on your side is crucial. Stanley L. Friedman is a recognized expert in white-collar criminal defense. Having once investigated and prosecuted these very types of cases, he knows the ins and outs of the system from the investigative stage onward. Mr. Friedman understands the government’s playbook because he lived it for years, so with the Law Offices of Stanley L. Friedman on your side, you have more than just a general criminal defense lawyer negotiating a plea or defending you in court.
Can I Take the Fifth When Presented With a Civil Investigative Demand?
The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects individuals from being compelled to testify on matters that could incriminate them. Does a CID compel testimony that is protected by the Fifth Amendment? This is a complicated question that must be carefully evaluated in each given situation. There are certainly times when one can assert the Fifth Amendment in response to a CID, but when and how this privilege is asserted requires careful consideration and thought. In advising you on how to respond to a CID in your specific circumstances, pleading the Fifth is certainly one avenue we will discuss with you.
What to Do After Receiving a CID
Contact an Attorney: Before you do anything, consult with an attorney familiar with CIDs and the type of investigation you might be facing.
Review the CID: Understand what information is being requested and the deadline for providing it.
Document Preservation: Make sure to keep all relevant documents safe. Deleting or tampering with them can lead to further trouble.
Prepare the Response: Work closely with your attorney to gather all requested documents and information.
Submit and Wait: Once everything is submitted by the deadline, it’s a waiting game. Your attorney can often provide insight into what to expect next.
Contact the Law Offices of Stanley L. Friedman for Help With Civil Investigative Demands in Los Angeles
Receiving a Civil Investigative Demand is serious and no doubt stressful, but knowing what to expect and knowing you’ve got the right legal help in your corner can alleviate a lot of that stress so you can move forward confident in resolving the matter with a favorable outcome. With years of experience as a federal prosecutor and defense attorney with extensive time in the courtroom and trials, Stanley L. Friedman is the lawyer you want in your corner when you’ve been presented with a CID.
If you’ve received a CID in Los Angeles, make your first step a call to the Law Offices of Stanley L. Friedman at 213-629-1500. We can help you navigate this complex situation appropriately and make sure you are properly advised and well-represented throughout the process.