Question: What should I do if my business assets are physically seized and bank accounts frozen?
Benson Varghese: In the federal system, a business can be prosecuted just as an individual can be prosecuted. As a result, if there is an allegation of some crime occurring at a business, it is common for federal agents to come in and freeze all the assets of the business. They can also take physical property that belongs to the business. They can go after the directors of the company and seize their personal property and freeze their personal accounts. It is also possible and you should expect that there will be criminal proceedings against key individuals in that business that will follow the seizure.
So, the first indication you might receive that the federal government believes there is something going on at your business—whether that’s fraudulent activity, money laundering, overcharging medical providers, anything that’s within the realm of the federal government’s power to prosecute you for—the first time you may know about it is when they show up at your doors, lock up your business, and freeze your personal and business accounts. It is absolutely important to contact an attorney as soon as that happens and for you to expect that there might be criminal proceedings that follow.