Numerous events can trigger the criminal investigation of a business and its principals. Law enforcement may target an industry or company when information suggests wrongdoing. Disgruntled current and former employees provide fertile soil for informants and cooperators.
THE COVERT PHASE
In every situation, the investigative team (normally consisting of a prosecutor and one or more investigative agents) will first explore the use of covert investigative techniques, before launching the traditional-type investigation utilizing interviews, grand jury subpoenas and search warrants.
As the name suggests, a covert investigation is secret and known only to law enforcement and, on occasion, cooperators. It attempts to snare wrongdoers in the act or to capture in their own words acknowledgment and participation in the criminal episode.