24/7 call for a free consultation 212-300-5196

AS SEEN ON

EXPERIENCEDTop Rated

YOU MAY HAVE SEEN TODD SPODEK ON THE NETFLIX SHOW
INVENTING ANNA

When you’re facing a federal issue, you need an attorney whose going to be available 24/7 to help you get the results and outcome you need. The value of working with the Spodek Law Group is that we treat each and every client like a member of our family.

The Impact of a Parallel SEC and DOJ Investigation After an SEC Target Letter

The Impact of a Parallel SEC and DOJ Investigation After an SEC Target Letter

Receiving a target letter from the SEC can be an intimidating and stressful experience. It means the SEC has identified you as a target in an investigation into potential securities law violations. But what happens when you get that dreaded target letter and realize the Department of Justice is also running a parallel criminal investigation? Now you’re facing the full force and scrutiny of both the SEC and DOJ at the same time. This parallel investigation can have serious implications for your case, so it’s important to understand how it changes the landscape.

Don’t Obstruct Either Investigation

Once you get a target letter, you need to be very careful not to obstruct the investigations by either agency. That means fully cooperating with all requests for documents and testimony. Obstruction or lack of cooperation can lead the DOJ to bring criminal charges for impeding an investigation, which is a separate crime. You have to walk a fine line between vigorously defending yourself while still providing what the agencies request.

Understand How the Agencies Coordinate

The SEC and DOJ have a long history of working together on securities cases. They routinely share information and evidence through formal agreements. This coordination can bolster both investigations and make it harder to defend against them. Anything you disclose to one agency will likely end up in the hands of the other. You need to be strategic in how you interact with both agencies and understand how it may impact the overall case.

Explore Settlement Options Carefully

Settling with one agency does not mean the other will drop its investigation. For example, the SEC may be open to a settlement but the DOJ could still pursue criminal charges. Any admission or facts agreed to in an SEC settlement can then be used against you by federal prosecutors. You need to look at the whole picture when exploring settlements and get experienced counsel to advise you on the implications.

Assert Your Constitutional Rights

The Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination applies to both SEC and DOJ investigations. This means you can assert your right not to provide testimony that could implicate you in criminal conduct. However, asserting the Fifth Amendment in an SEC investigation while still defending yourself can be tricky. You need an experienced securities attorney to help you navigate this issue.

Challenge Improper Coordination Between Agencies

While the SEC and DOJ cooperate regularly, their coordination is still subject to limits. If you believe the two investigations have become one, with no separation between agencies, you may be able to challenge the coordination as improper. Your attorney can explore arguments that the SEC violated its duty to inform you of this merger of investigations. But this is a complex area of law you need expert advice on.

Explore Selective Prosecution Defenses

Being targeted by both the SEC and DOJ at the same time raises the question of selective prosecution. Your attorney can probe whether you’ve been singled out for prosecution based on improper considerations like race, religion, or the exercise of constitutional rights. While not easy to prove, selective prosecution claims can potentially get charges dismissed.

Christine Twomey
Christine Twomey
2024-03-21
Just had my Divorce case settled 2 months ago after having a horrible experience with another firm. I couldn’t be happier with Claire Banks and Elizabeth Garvey with their outstanding professionalism in doing so with Spodek Law Group. Any time I needed questions answered they were always prompt in doing so with all my uncertainties after 30 yrs of marriage.I feel from the bottom of my heart you will NOT be disappointed with either one. Thanks a million.
Brendan huisman
Brendan huisman
2024-03-18
Alex Zhik contacted me almost immediately when I reached out to Spodek for a consultation and was able to effectively communicate the path forward/consequences of my legal issue. I immediately agreed to hire Alex for his services and did not regret my choice. He was able to cover my case in court (with 1 day notice) and not only was he able to push my case down, he carefully negotiated a dismissal of the charge altogether. I highly recommend Spodek, and more specifically, Alex Zhik for all of your legal issues. Thanks guys!
Guerline Menard
Guerline Menard
2024-03-18
Thanks again Spodek law firm, particularly Esq Claire Banks who stood right there with us up to the finish line. Attached photos taken right outside of the court building and the smile on our faces represented victory, a breath of fresh air and satisfaction. We are very happy that this is over and we can move on with our lives. Thanks Spodek law 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙌🏼❤️
Keisha Parris
Keisha Parris
2024-03-15
Believe every single review here about Alex Z!! From our initial consultation, it was evident that Alex possessed a profound understanding of criminal law and a fierce dedication to his clients rights. Throughout the entirety of my case, Alex exhibited unparalleled professionalism and unwavering commitment. What sets Alex apart is not only his legal expertise but also his genuine compassion for his clients. He took the time to thoroughly explain my case, alleviating any concerns I had along the way. His exact words were “I’m not worried about it”. His unwavering support and guidance were invaluable throughout the entire process. I am immensely grateful for Alex's exceptional legal representation and wholeheartedly recommend his services to anyone in need of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Alex Z is not just a lawyer; he is a beacon of hope for those navigating the complexities of the legal system. If you find yourself in need of a dedicated and competent legal advocate, look no further than Alex Z.
Taïko Beauty
Taïko Beauty
2024-03-15
I don’t know where to start, I can write a novel about this firm, but one thing I will say is that having my best interest was their main priority since the beginning of my case which was back in Winter 2019. Miss Claire Banks, one of the best Attorneys in the firm represented me very well and was very professional, respectful, and truthful. Not once did she leave me in the dark, in fact she presented all options and routes that could possibly be considered for my case and she reinsured me that no matter what I decided to do, her and the team will have my back and that’s exactly what happened. Not only will I be liberated from this case, also, I will enjoy my freedom and continue to be a mother to my first born son and will have no restrictions with accomplishing my goals in life. Now that’s what I call victory!! I thank the Lord, My mother, Claire, and the Spodek team for standing by me and fighting with me. Words can’t describe how grateful I am to have the opportunity to work with this team. I’m very satisfied, very pleased with their performance, their hard work, and their diligence. Thank you team!
Anthony Williams
Anthony Williams
2024-03-12
Hey, how you guys doing? Good afternoon my name is Anthony Williams I just want to give a great shout out to the team of. Spodek law group. It is such a honor to use them and to use their assistance through this whole case from start to finish. They did everything that they said they was gonna do and if it ever comes down to it, if I ever have to use them again, hands-down they will be the first law office at the top of my list, thank you guys so much. It was a pleasure having you guys by my side so if you guys ever need them, do not hesitate to pick up the phone and give them a call.
Loveth Okpedo
Loveth Okpedo
2024-03-12
Very professional, very transparent, over all a great experience
Bee L
Bee L
2024-02-28
Amazing experience with Spodek! Very professional lawyers who take your case seriously. They treated me with respect, were always available, and answered any and all questions. They were able to help me very successfully and removed a huge stress. Highly recommend.
divesh patel
divesh patel
2024-02-24
I can't recommend Alex Zhik and Spodek Law Firm highly enough for their exceptional legal representation and personal mentorship. From the moment I engaged their services in October 2022, Alex took the time to understand my case thoroughly and provided guidance every step of the way. Alex's dedication to my case went above and beyond my expectations. His expertise, attention to detail, and commitment to achieving the best possible outcome were evident throughout the entire process. He took the time to mentor me, ensuring I understood the legal complexities involved to make informed decisions. Alex is the kind of guy you would want to have a beer with and has made a meaningful impact on me. I also want to acknowledge Todd Spodek, the leader of the firm, who played a crucial role in my case. His leadership and support bolstered the efforts of Alex, and his involvement highlighted the firm's commitment to excellence. Thanks to Alex Zhik and Todd Spodek, I achieved the outcome I desired, and I am incredibly grateful for their professionalism, expertise, and genuine care. If you're in need of legal representation, look no further than this outstanding team.

Don’t Let Your Guard Down with Either Agency

It’s natural to feel like once you’re under DOJ investigation, the SEC matter becomes less serious. But you can’t let your guard down with either agency. The SEC can still impose huge civil fines and other penalties even if no criminal charges are filed. You need to take both investigations seriously and mount a strong defense across the board.

Explore Global Resolutions

If fighting the allegations on the merits looks challenging, you may want to proactively explore a global resolution. This involves going to both agencies, laying all your cards on the table, and seeking a comprehensive settlement. This can potentially resolve all issues at once instead of fighting a two-front war. But the decision requires a clear-eyed assessment of your case.

Don’t Try to Play the Agencies Off Each Other

While the SEC and DOJ have some differences, they also work closely together. Any attempt to pit one against the other or manipulate their procedures is likely to fail. You’re better off exploring global resolutions or fighting the allegations on the facts. The agencies have their own objectives but also help each other, so a divide and conquer strategy rarely succeeds.

Prepare for Legal Whiplash

Going through simultaneous SEC and DOJ investigations can feel like legal whiplash. You respond to SEC requests, then get hit with DOJ subpoenas. Settlement talks with one agency falter while the other ramps up pressure. This rollercoaster is emotionally and physically draining. Make sure you take care of yourself throughout the process.

Don’t Forget About State and SRO Investigations

To make matters more complicated, you may also face parallel investigations by state securities regulators and self-regulatory organizations (SROs) like FINRA. All these entities often cooperate and share information just like the SEC and DOJ. So don’t forget to factor in potential state and SRO actions as you build your defense strategy.

Focus on the End Game

It’s easy to get lost in the details and overwhelmed by responding to both SEC and DOJ demands. But don’t lose sight of the big picture and your end goal. This could be a global resolution, taking your case to trial, or some other endpoint. Keep this goal in mind to stay focused amidst the chaos of parallel probes.

Don’t Go It Alone

Facing coordinated SEC and DOJ investigations is scary and the stakes are high. You need an experienced team of securities enforcement and white collar defense lawyers on your side. Don’t go it alone. Hire the best counsel you can to guide you through this minefield and give you the strongest chance of a favorable outcome.

In summary, getting an SEC target letter is bad enough. Discovering the DOJ has a parallel criminal investigation can be terrifying. But with the right legal strategy and counsel, you can effectively navigate both probes. Understand how the agencies coordinate, explore selective prosecution claims, don’t obstruct either inquiry, and keep your eye on the prize. The road won’t be easy, but surviving a dual SEC/DOJ investigation can feel like an uphill battle. But using smart legal strategies can help level the playing field. One approach is exploring claims of selective prosecution if you’ve been unfairly targeted. The defendant bears the burden of proving selective prosecution, which requires showing you were singled out and the prosecution serves an improper purpose [2]. If you can establish a prima facie case of selectivity, it may get the charges dismissed. But it is a heavy burden to meet.

Another key strategy is not obstructing either the SEC or DOJ investigation. Destroying documents or lying to investigators can lead to criminal charges like conspiracy, obstruction of justice, or false statements [3]. You have to be extremely careful in any responses to not run afoul of these crimes. Assert your 5th Amendment rights if needed to avoid self-incrimination.

At the same time, overly zealous prosecution tactics can themselves undermine justice. As one Congressman argued, “People who have committed crimes ought to go to jail, but…the decision whether or not to prosecute, and what charge to file…generally rests entirely in [the prosecutor’s] discretion.” [4] Prosecutorial discretion must serve justice, not political ends.

The decision to criminally prosecute a former president has been called crossing a political Rubicon [5]. It raises concerns about weaponizing the law for political gain. There is a fine line between punishing wrongdoing and selective prosecution. It ultimately comes down to evenhanded application of the law.

Finally, any criminal prosecution relies heavily on the accuracy of the investigation. Challenging deficiencies in the investigative process can be an important defense strategy. In one case, errors in the criminal history relied on by investigators formed the basis to get evidence suppressed [6]. Rigorously vetting the investigation itself can yield critical arguments in your defense.

Surviving parallel SEC and DOJ probes requires creativity, tenacity, and experienced counsel. But by understanding key strategies like selective prosecution claims, avoidance of obstruction, and challenging the investigation itself, you can mount an effective defense against coordinated government enforcement.

Schedule Your Consultation Now