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Elkan Abramowitz and Jonathan Sack Elkan Abramowitz and Jonathan Sack

Defending an individual who is the subject of parallel civil and criminal investigations is one of the more challenging aspects of white-collar defense practice. The situation is quite common, for example, in securities fraud investigations conducted by the Securities and Exchange Commission and Department of Justice. Parallel investigations raise both pragmatic and legal concerns. As a practical matter, an individual may have to choose between invoking her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, which could have adverse consequences in civil proceedings, or, conversely, not remain silent and make statements detrimental in criminal proceedings. In addition, as a legal matter, parallel investigations pose the danger of prosecutors’ behind-the-scenes use of civil investigations as a means of securing evidence they might not otherwise be able to obtain.


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