Typical PHMP and PNAP Investigator Trap Tactics

My last several blogs dealt with Pennsylvania licensing board investigator trap tactics. A March 14, 2014 New York Times article identifies the same type of measures on a national scale. The article appeared NY Times business section and is entitled a Dragnet at Dewey and Lebouf Snares A Minnow.

The article set forth the course of conduct of FBI, DEA, Securities and Exchange Commission, and other state investigators use in ensnaring unsuspecting and unsophisticated targets. The strategy depicts the same typical, atrocious,and surreptitious investigatory techniques that you can now expect, and for which I have witnessed, from Pa State Board investigators. In the NY criminal case, the target of the case was a low-level office administrator/potential business attorney and a multimillion dollar law firm.

The New York State investigatory authorities reached out to Zachary Warren regarding the premature bankruptcy and business failing of the national law firm. This young individual was extremely ethical, graduated from Georgetown law school, clerked for a Federal District Court judge and a Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge. He was confident in his lack of involvement in any criminal activities. He happily met with the S EC investigator.

However, at that first meeting, along with the NY State investigator, also present was a SEC lawyer, an assistant district attorney, a FBI agent. Other New York State prosecutors were listing and participating over the phone. This unseasoned and young attorney, previously a simple paralegal, was not prepared by any attorney for the meeting. He had never been questioned before, and had not engaged in any legal practice that would have prepared for the type of questioning put to him by attorneys, FBI, and SEC investigators.

Apparently, the article reads, he became quite defensive, did not do well in the eyes of the lawyers with whom he was meeting. They set up the meeting with one person, brought ten, and secured unsuspecting incriminating admission/statements about some part of a investigation of which Mr. Warren was completely unaware. Skip forward three years. He has been indicted and is named as one of the main defendants in the criminal bankruptcy fraud proceedings against the defunct firm’s former leaders.

This is a text book example of devious investigators from any state agency that underscore my concerns for any unseasoned licensee talking to any PA State board investigator or attorney general’s office detective about any investigation. It is their goal to secure an admission of inappropriate conduct from any unprepared, nervous individual of whom they are investigating. First scare them into meeting and then secure statements that will be used against them in the future. This is what happened in Mr. Warren.

Pennsylvania licensing board investigators and Attorney General state trooper/detectives are engaging in this same conduct in trying to secure meetings with young unsuspecting nurses, physical therapist, physicians assistants, or doctors. The typical language they use is, “we want to get your side of the story “or we just want to hear what you have to say to make sure the investigation is balanced”. Do not aid or assist in any part of their investigation.

Enticements like this trap young, unsuspecting and inexperienced individuals in the legal wares of these officers. Admissions eliminate any need for these state employees to do any part of their job; find evidence and investigate the case. Once you talk, you give them the case. Say nothing and refuse to meet. You are not compelled, required, or forced to meet. You are not required to cooperate and incriminate yourself.

These are serious cases being investigated by seasoned attorneys and retired police officer investigators. It is their goal to have the individual licensee do the job of the investigator. Securing admissions of drug use, diverting drugs, or any type of impairments will foreclose a licensee’s future.  Call me before you meet with anyone or talk with anyone over the phone.

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