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Business dispute or crime?

 

Having the FBI and the IRS raid you home is never an optimal outcome, no matter what events preceded that event. A pair former executives of Starkey Hearing Technologies had that experience last week, as the federal agencies appear to be involved in an investigation with "multiple search warrants" executed on the former executives' homes.

Apparently, there are allegations of some type of criminal activity, but the spokesperson for the FBI did not provide any more detail regarding the investigation beyond the execution of the search warrants.

 

Starkey fired six long-time executives in September and some of them have begun to sue the company for breach of contract and wrongful termination. With no criminal charges having yet been filed, it is difficult to determine exactly what may have occurred.

Is this a case of wrongdoing by an employee or is this an employer attempting to extract the last full measure of revenge on employees that were suspected of attempting to start-up another company?

For anyone investigated by federal agencies like the FBI or the IRS, the risk is that the investigators may not find anything related to the initial focus of their investigation, but might find evidence of potential violations of other laws.

Because of the tremendous number of laws, regulations, rules and ordinances that exist, given enough time and resources, a motivated prosecutor could discover grounds to prosecute virtually anyone. The presence of the IRS is always concerning, especially for those with complex financial transactions.

It is very important to have your own counsel if you are the subject of such a federal investigation. Making a misstatement to an IRS or FBI agent is a crime, and even if the underlying investigation produces no grounds for prosecution, an inadvertent or incorrect statement to a federal agent could, nevertheless, result in a criminal prosecution.

Source: startribuine.com, "FBI, IRS raid home of former Starkey President Jerry Ruzicka," Dee DePass, November 5, 2015

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