What to do in a Federal Investigation

What Are the Federal Agencies that Can Investigate You and What You Need to Know

Recording artist DJ Khaled is known for producing catchy songs that are constantly being played on the radio. His most famous line is “We the best,” which usually comes at the beginning or end of most of his songs. But according to various news outlets and along with former boxing champion Floyd Mayweather, DJ Khaled were charged by the SEC for promoting ICOs without disclosing they had received payments.

Both Mayweather and DJ Khaled agreed to pay disgorgement, penalties, and interest without admitting or denying any guilt. Mayweather agreed to pay $300,000 in disgorgement, a $300,000 penalty, and $14,775 in prejudgment interest. Khaled agreed to pay $50,000 in disgorgement, a $100,000 penalty, and $2,725 in prejudgment interest. In addition, Mayweather agreed not to promote any securities, digital or otherwise, for three years, and Khaled agreed to a similar ban for two years. Mayweather also agreed to continue to cooperate with the SEC investigation.

ICOs stand for Initial Coin Offering. Companies who fall under this category are those that operate in the bitcoin space. An ICO is equivalent to a corporation that’s planning on filing for an initial public offering (IPO) in order to be trading in the U.S. stock market.

Despite the news of Mayweather and DJ Khaled getting charged by the SEC and paying large fines, a lot of people never thought individuals can get investigated by the SEC. The truth is, the SEC investigates both corporations and individuals who are accused of wrongdoings involved in the stock market or any publicly traded company.

According to the non-profit public policy organization group Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) there are at least 430 Federal Departments in the United States. Most of these departments have the power to investigate companies and individuals. Though there are too many to mention, some of the top federal investigation agencies include the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Postal Service (USPS) and the Secret Service, to name a few. All the previously mentioned federal departments have the power to investigate individuals and corporations but there are many other departments that may not have the power to investigate but can participate in a joint task force in an investigation of criminal wrongdoings by a company or a set of individuals.

What is a federal investigation?

A federal investigation is an inquiry that supposed to decide (1) whether or not a federal crime has been committed; (2) identify the parties responsible; and (3) collect the evidence pertaining to the crime.

What do you do if you are under federal investigation?

A federal investigation doesn’t mean you are being charged for a federal crime. Though it’s just a simple investigation that federal departments do all the time, a wise person should never talk to an investigator without a lawyer because any information you tell them could be used against you in court. And though a federal investigation doesn’t mean you are being charged with a crime, one should always take a federal investigation seriously.