We conduct internal investigations for corporations and represent employees under investigation by their employer in a broad range of matters.
Conducting Internal Investigations. We help large and small companies conduct targeted, efficient internal investigations of any problems or concerns that have arisen from whistleblower complaints, hotline reports, or other sources. For example, we have investigated allegations of harassment or discrimination, employee theft, compliance with internal policies and practices and accounting issues. We regularly work with outside investigative firms, forensic consultants, accounting firms and other strategic partners to investigate whistleblower claims and scrutinize problems raised by outside auditors.
There are many logically distinct stages to an internal investigation. At the outset, our firm will provide advice about whether to conduct an internal investigation, who should take part in it, and how to protect the attorney-client privilege. We will evaluate whether there are mandatory disclosure needs that are time sensitive, such as in the government contracting and financial services industries. Next, we will methodically develop a plan for preserving documents and other relevant information. We will then define the scope of the investigation, create a detailed investigative protocol, review documentary evidence, conduct witness interviews, and prepare conclusions and recommendations. At the end of the investigation, we will work with you to determine the best route to present our findings to relevant parties and determine how to bring the investigation to a close.
Representing Employees. We represent individuals who are the targets of a corporate investigative inquiry or merely have relevant information and need guidance about how to provide that information during an investigation. Frequently, corporate counsel will reach out to our firm when an employee needs independent representation during an internal investigation. Individuals also choose to hire us directly to advise them. We help our clients understand the reasons for the potential need to hire counsel independent from the corporation, and if warranted, we can decide with you whether to cooperate with corporate counsel to achieve mutually beneficial goals. Our firm has extensive experience in helping individuals head off potential criminal exposure and other adverse collateral consequences that might be implicated because of the opening of an internal investigation.
Types of Investigations:
- Conflicts of interest
- Violations of corporate code of conduct
- Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
- Employee theft and embezzlement
- Procurement fraud, including kickbacks
- Executive improprieties, allegations of harassment, etc.
- Market manipulation
- Government contracting fraud
- Financial mismanagement
Representative Sectors and Clients:
- Fortune 500 companies
- Public utilities
- Non-profit organizations
- C-Suite individuals
- Oil and gas industry
- Sports industry
- Federal government contractors
We have vast experience representing clients in investigations conducted by federal agencies. Our firm has handled Office of Inspector General (OIG) and administrative investigations for career government employees, Senior Executive Service (SES), political appointees, and outside contractors working for the government. These types of investigations can be very stressful because many clients facing scrutiny cannot talk to colleagues about what is happening, and our clients’ careers are at stake. Our firm has literally “written the book” on OIG investigations, which can be found here.
In addition to our work representing targets of OIG investigations, we have represented high-level OIG employees who are themselves under investigation by the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE) for allegations of whistleblower retaliation and conflicts of interest.
Although OIGs are tasked with investigating “waste, fraud and abuse,” OIG investigations can quickly turn into criminal investigations. Individuals may assume that only their job is at risk because an OIG agent is asking the questions. This is not true in every case. Our firm works with clients to avoid a criminal investigation of what may have started as an agency investigation. In addition, we use our experience to help clients manage the risk to their reputation by a public report of the investigation on an agency’s website.
Federal government employees are the targets of OIG investigations and face the most direct repercussions. Any government employee–no matter who you are–can be investigated. There’s no exception for SES or heads of agencies. Private companies also suffer from fallout once an OIG investigation has begun. Many criminal investigations of private companies start with OIG investigations. We use our experience to help clients avoid unwanted intrusions and undeserved consequences.
Representative Matters include investigations by:
- Department of Justice
- Department of Homeland Security
- Department of the Interior
- Defense Intelligence Agency
- Department of Defense
- Federal Bureau of Investigations
- United States Postal Service
- Department of Veteran Affairs
- Department of Commerce
- Department of State
- Treasury Department
- Department of Energy
- Environmental Protection Agency
- State agencies
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