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Brent Blanchard
Brent Blanchard, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 1975
Experience:  Separation of powers means what it says.
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I work for a Verizon Wireless retailer and recently my manager

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I work for a Verizon Wireless retailer and recently my manager was convicted of stealing a large amount of money from our company by ringing cash transactions as credit and pocketing the cash. A few of the questionable transactions were in my name, but I had no knowledge of his scheme and never witnessed him pocket money or commit any crime. The other accused is the administrative assistant who was apparently involved in the scheme as well by cleaning up his mis-entered credit/cash transactions. Both of them were caught red handed. He was apprehended several weeks ago and has a court date in January. He was doing this scheme prior to me starting at the company as I've only been at the company for a few months. I haven't heard anything from the police in regards XXXXX XXXXX One of our owners has to testify in front of a grand jury and that's all I know.

Do you believe it is likely I will have to testify and they could build an accessory to the crime case out of it?
Thank you for your question.

Unfortunately, it is impossible to predict what a prosecutor is likely to do or not do, because I do not have access to the file and do not know what others have said during the course of the investigation. We have certain expectations based on what we know to be true, but we do not know whether those interviewed have told the truth.

We also do not know who the prosecutor believes.

Preservation of evidence is key. Off-site duplication is wise. To cover up, fib about, or try to hide that expensive gift from Aunt Sally last month just because you think it would be interpreted by a cynical prosecutor as being "really" bought with your "take" of the criminal enterprise would be a grave mistake. One lie for ANY reason during and investigation makes you a liar forever in the eyes of these types of government servants.

Evidence of NO financial gain from the crimes can help a lot. It is smart to be ready to account for every penny spent since coming into contact with the accused. No increases in expenditures not precisely matching the legitimate income helps prove innocence.

An "accessory" charge requires evidence that the person accused actually *did* something to further the crime/crimes. For the best and most accurate accounting of your actions during the dangerous times, it is a good idea to think about any "favors" that either of the accused may have asked for--what they were, why, and in retrospect, whether that should have been a warning flag.

It is possible that you could be called to testify, but then again maybe not if the prosecution already has all they believe they need for a conviction. It sounds as if you would have little useful information anyway.

The other required element of the accessory or conspiracy or similar assistance to criminals crimes is "intent". You describe a situation devoid of any criminal intent. That does not mean that one would not be accused, but it goes a long way towards either a not guilty verdict or a decision to drop the prosecution altogether.

Thank you.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thank you for your response.

In your professional opinion, if someone did contact me to try and dig up more information about the accused, would it be wise to contact an attorney first? I don't believe they could possibly accuse me of anything, but then again I don't want to say anything that would give them the impression otherwise.

To be honest, I'm terrified. I'm a 22 year old full time graduate student while working full time and I don't really need the extra stress of this on top of everything else.
Thank you for your follow-up, and especially for thinking clearly about this.

I would strongly suggest consulting with an attorney who can review any documents you have related to this situation, especially the transactions in your name which may have been swept into the scheme. A copy of the arrest report from local law enforcement would be quite helpful.

There are two approaches to this: the cheap and the chicken/wise. Cheap is to sit and wait for things to happen and see the attorney only after either law enforcement or employer representatives have asked to talk to you about it. This runs the risk of not having enough time to have the consultation before the questioning event, leaving you unprepared.

I call the second approach "chicken/wise" because some of our misinformed friends lend to live in the land of denial and call us chickens when we want peace of mind sooner rather than later. "Nothing's going to happen" or "you don't KNOW that yet" are among the objections, which only stand in the way of exercising the wisdom to educate yourself about the issues, the risks, and the tricks involved. There are few things harder to dispel than *unwarranted* suspicion caused by some verbal mistake that came out of our own mouth. Investigators sometimes (NOT always) look so hard for incriminating clues they find them where they don't exist.

Those reasons are why the only safe place to discuss what a person knows and doesn't know and suspected or was clueless in a private, privileged consultation with an attorney. No one else has a similar duty exclusively to the client, to protect that client's interests. It's worth the money for that level of reliable peace of mind, in my opinion. Law enforcement will pretend to be your friend then turn on you in an instant.

Thank you.

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