Internal Investigations from a Practical Perspective

February 2014Articles Association of Corporate Counsel – Western Pennsylvania Chapter Newsletter

When suspicions of wrongdoing or illegal activity have arisen in your organization, an internal investigation should be considered to minimize damage to the organization’s reputation and to limit the organization’s exposure to criminal, civil and regulatory enforcement and related action.

An internal investigation should be considered when there is a credible indication that a law or an important organizational policy has been violated. This information may come from an internal audit, a hot-line or from an employee or agent of the organization. The goal of an internal investigation is to obtain accurate and reliable information about an allegation and evaluate whether to self-report any illegal activities to the government. Otherwise, the corporation risks investigation by a state or federal law enforcement agency. If that occurs, the corporation loses control and has far less opportunity to mitigate the damage.

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