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Legal-Guru, Criminal Justice Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 1366
Experience:  Experienced Criminal Trial Attorney since 1998.
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For a potential criminal case, if a Federal agency (not DOJ,

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For a potential criminal case, if a Federal agency (not DOJ, US Attorney office or FBI) sent a "Cease and Desist Order" against some civil violations and asked respondent's lawyer whether they are willing to settle the case with some civil penalties. In this case, does it mean the government does not plan to seek criminal prosecution against the respondent?

If no, will they move on to criminal prosecution if the respondent fails to settle the case (given the respondent is outside of the US and will not return to US forever and has no money to pay the civil penalties) ? Please kindly advice. Many thanks!
Not necessarily. Whether criminal charges are pursued is up to the U.S. Attorney's Office where the alleged crime occurred and/or the DOJ. (The various U.S. Attorneys are branches of and answer to DOJ.) Other agencies (i.e., SEC, EPA, etc) can seek civil penalties, but they cannot make a decision on criminal prosecution.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Got it. Moreover, given the Federal agency who sent the Cease-and-Desist Order is the one who handles the investigation, are the respondents (company and person) shown on the document targets of the potential criminal investigation, or the US attorney could look for more people? Will the US attorney notify the respondent's lawyer if they plan to prosecute the case? Thanks a lot!

(1) The US Attorney is not limited to the people who are on the cease and desist order. They could choose to prosecute (probably the most likely outcome) or prosecute one or more people on the cease and desist order and/or others.

(2) The US Attorney is not required to notify the respondent's attorney, but sometimes they will out of courtesy. If you are subpoenaed before a grand jury and are a target of the investigation, then per DOJ policy they will notify you that you are a target.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks! One last question, if there is only one person at the scene of the case, even he's not a target of the investigation, is it likely that he will be subpoenaed to the Grand Jury to testify?


It has been 9 months since the police executed the search warrant, and the Cease-and-Desist order was just received, but nobody was subpoenaed to the police/us attorney to testify further since 9 months ago. Do you think this is normal? If there is criminal prosecution ongoing, will there be further actions expected?

These questions are related to a white-collar case.

(1) Yes, material witnesses would normally be subpoenaed to testify before the grand jury. Sometimes, however, agents or officers are called instead to relay what a witness said to them. The rules against hearsay do not apply to grand jury proceedings.

(2) When the feds charge someone it is through grand jury indictment so if there is criminal prosecution the case would be presented to a grand jury. A delay of several months between a search warrant and grand jury indictment is not unusual, but the more time that passes without any hint of criminal prosecution the better. No news is good news in this circumstance.
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