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George B. Curtis
The author is a partner with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, Denver.
Most respondents on the receiving end of a government investigation would rank the experience somewhere between a root canal and a train wreck, depending on the outcome, with the root canal at the preferred end of the range. Generally, the investigation extends for years, takes up a vast amount of time, imposes considerable stress as well as financial cost, and can threaten the professional future of an individual and the corporate existence of an entity, independent of whether the investigation is justified.
Given those realities, it is difficult to imagine any upside in either the investigative process or the result.
Certainly for individuals, none leaps to mind. Charges can range from fraud to the improper exercise of professional judgment, with as many potential outcomes as there are points across the charging spectrum. Regardless, every investigation likely leaves a mark on the individuals caught up in the process.