Checks, Balances & Accountability: How Your Small Business Can Stay Out Of Trouble

 

Todd Spodek is the managing partner of a family-owned boutique criminal defense and divorce law firm. Spodek Law Group practices in all areas of criminal defense, including pre-arrest investigations, grand jury investigations, violations, misdemeanors and felonies in both state and federal court. Their extensive criminal practice also includes white collar and violent crime.

 

 

todd spodek Checks, Balances & Accountability: How Your Small Business Can Stay Out Of Trouble

Todd Spodek
(Photo courtesy of Todd Spodek)

 

 

“We represent all types of companies. Recently, I have had the opportunity to represent construction companies that have been indicted for failure to pay required state and federal taxes. Other representations include employees of a company that were indicted for running an illegal online prostitution service, recipients of welfare benefits throughout New York State, as well as medical providers, the owners of home health care facilities and home health care aid companies, individual doctors, ophthalmologists, optometrists and optometry stores,” says Spodek.

“The majority of my clients in this realm are under investigation for health care fraud, insurance fraud, Medicaid/Medicare fraud, state and/or federal tax fraud, workers compensation fraud and unemployment fraud. We usually are retained early in the investigation and have had great success in helping them navigate the process. Our goal always is to avoid criminal prosecution and mitigate their exposure to other penalties.”

“The first thing that triggers the concern is the receipt of a subpoena, a lawsuit, and a phone call, letter or visit from a state or federal governmental agent. This should alert you that legal action is being considered against you. No matter what the circumstances are, you should not speak personally or on behalf of the business. Keep in mind lying to a federal agent is a crime on its own. You should immediately contact your general counsel and/or lawyer to discuss the next steps. Unless there is a search warrant, you should not let them into your place of business and/or access to any files. Regardless if you think you are completely innocent, you may be providing information that could be problematic. I have seen cases where there has been governmental action on innocuous behavior, but due to the actions of employees of the company, the investigation has gone much deeper.”

“I have found that even innocent individuals wind up in trouble. I see a pattern where the business owner focuses on building the business side, sales and marketing, and not on the day-to-day responsibilities of the business. They wind up later being in trouble for failing to collect sales tax, paying employees in cash, not having the appropriate insurance coverage, not having unemployment insurance, not paying overtime and/or payroll taxes. Also, there are times when rogue employees are relieving kickbacks from other vendors, which the business is unaware of but can wind up being exposed. All businesses need checks and balances and accountability. It is imperative that this is setup early. There needs to be an internal guide signed by each employee or independent contractor regarding the rules and regulations of the particular business,” advises Spodek.

 

 

 

This article was written by Robin D. Everson of Examiner.com for CBS Small Business Pulse.

 

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