Internal investigations: Be alert, be prepared and hire the right professionals, By Steven B. Ungar & Robert R. Calo

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Business professionals working in the post-Enron landscape are acutely aware of perils that can arise from the misconduct of employees, officers, directors and even independent contractors. These perils, including financial and criminal exposure at the individual level, have heightened concerns about compliance and enforcement.

Since 2001, several high-profile companies accused of stealing from shareholders have been investigated and in some cases saddled with criminal convictions and prison sentences. Accounting companies and pharmaceutical companies have ended investigations and avoided prosecution only after paying enormous penalties.

The criminal net is being cast over an ever-widening swath of conduct that in years past would have been resolved in the civil or regulatory realm.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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