August 1 2020
The Covid 19 pandemic has created an economic crisis for a lot of folks. We are headed into at least a year of really hard times. Many people in desperation do things they would not otherwise do. Maybe it is writing a bad check? Maybe it is stealing or embezzling from an employer? Maybe it is taking advantage of an elderly relative? Maybe it is Payroll Protection Program fraud? Fraud cases here in Sarasota are on the rise and with that, fraud arrests and fraud prosecutions are on the rise. Don’t let hard times create a situation where you end up doing hard time in prison.
If you hear or find out you are under investigation for tax fraud, or a scheme to defraud, don’t wait until the police are at your door to arrest you. If you are under investigation for sales tax fraud, or some other white collar crime, talk to a lawyer before it is too late, before you get arrested. Do not wait until you are sitting in jail trying to get bonded out. Most lawyers do not charge for a free initial consultation.
As a former Special Agent (years ago) and a former Federal prosecutor and most importantly as a Sarasota criminal defense lawyer, I can honestly tell you, if you are contacted, keep your mouth shut and lawyer up. Do not try and talk your way out of trouble. You may be providing to the detective the missing link in his prosecution. You have a right to remain silent. Exercise that right and politely tell the detective that you do not want to say anything until you speak with a lawyer.
If the cops show up with a search warrant for your busines records, say nothing. Never voluntarily turn over your computer unless they have a warrant. Never give a pass code unless they have a court order and you are compelled to do so. Always seek the advice of an experienced criminal defense lawyer. You may thing you can talk your way out of it, but that is a huge mistake. You may think that if you don’t explain something they will think you are guilty, but, if you open your mouth you may enable them to prove you are guilty.