Experienced White Collar Criminal Defense Lawyer

What is “white–collar crime”?

White-collar crime is a crime involving illegal acts that use deceit and concealment to obtain money, services or property, or to secure a business of professional advantage.   White-Collar crimes are typically “paper” cases where the “E” in  your e-mail account becomes EVIDENCE.

I have been accused of fraud, is that a white-collar crime? What are examples of white–collar crimes?

Yes. White-Collar cases take on a variety of forms and include fraud, embezzlement, money laundering, insider trading, tax evasion, kickbacks, etc.

The punishment range varies depending on the alleged crime, whether it is in State or Federal Court, prior convictions, potential aggravating factors, etc.

How do I know if I am under investigation?

If the federal government is prosecuting, you may hear from federal agencies such as the FBI, SEC, IRS, DEA, etc.

If the state is pursuing, you may hear from a state agency.

Generally speaking, state prosecutions begin with an arrest followed by the preparation of their case. Federal prosecutions typically begin with an investigation followed by an arrest.

If an investigator or officer contacts you get in touch with a white collar criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Your defense lawyer can act as a shield between you and the officer. If you happen to speak with the investigator, tell him “you would be happy to cooperate with your attorney present.” Remember, regardless of what you are told, the investigator is attempting to collect evidence.  Why else would they want to talk?  They need more information to arrest.

An investigator just showed up to my business and wants to ask me questions, what should I do?

Tell the person you would be “happy to cooperate with your attorney present.” Contrary to what the investigator may tell you, you are not making an admission of guilt, but rather asserting your constitutional rights. Be firm, and understand investigators can and will bend the truth to get what they want.

An investigator just showed up to my business and asked if he can search my office.

See the preceding answer. Additionally, tell the officer “unless he has a valid search warrant, you are not consenting to any searches.”   Make the investigator show you the warrant if he claims to have one.  Contact your white collar criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.

What is a target letter?

A target letter is sent by the United States Attorney’s Office and is an indication that you are the target of an investigation. The letter will indicate what you are being accused of. If you receive a target letter get in touch with an attorney. Target letters are often followed by attempts to reach you. Soon you will be contacted by federal agencies and you need an experienced, white collar criminal defense lawyer who knows how to keep you protected.

What does a ‘target letter’ look like?


U.S. Department of Justice

Criminal Division

[Department of Justice Seal]


Fraud Division



I am writing to advise you that you are a target of a federal investigation being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service. This investigation involves claims by ______________________ submitted to _____________________. The crimes being investigated include, but are not limited to, ______________________________________________.

In the near future we may ask a Federal Grand Jury to return an indictment charging you in connection with this investigation. Before doing so, we are offering you an opportunity to provide testimony and/or relevant evidence to the Grand Jury investigating this matter. You are under no obligation to accept this invitation to testify or produce information; it is entirely your decision.

You may wish to consult with and hire an attorney. If you do so, he or she can contact me directly to discuss this matter.


[contact information]

Sincerely yours,

Trial Attorney

U.S. Department of Justice

I received a subpoena from a federal grand jury, what should I do?

Get in touch with your white collar criminal defense lawyer (if you have one). If you do not have one, find one as soon as possible. Federal grand juries possess broad investigative powers and federal prosecutors tend to investigate their cases through the use of grand jury subpoenas. Your white collar attorney should be able to explain to you what to expect and how to handle the grand jury subpoena in more detail.

My investigation has taken over a year, is that normal?

Yes. White-Collar crimes are highly complex and technical. Investigators are looking for enough evidence to make an arrest. This can take a few months or this can take a few years.

My assets are frozen and the government is seeking forfeiture, why?

The government may seek forfeiture if the assets were used or obtained in the commission of a criminal offense.   In order to prevail the government must trace the property or money back to the alleged offense/s. Typically, the government will seize entire bank accounts. If your assets are subject to forfeiture your white collar criminal defense lawyer may be able to protect them from becoming the government’s property.

If you are being investigated or have been arrested for a white collar crime contact a white collar criminal defense lawyer at the Adamo & Adamo Law Firm.

Client Reviews

National Reputation

Sam Adamo presents Harris County Criminal Defense Lawyer Lifetime Achievement Award

Criminal Defense

The Adamo and Adamo Law Firm has been recognized by national publications for superior criminal defense.

Client Choice

Criminal Lawyer

Sam Adamo received the Avvo Client Choice Award for criminal defense and client satisfaction.

Superb 10.0 Lawyer Rating

Criminal Defense

Both Sam Adamo and Sam Adamo Jr. have maintained 10.0 Criminal Defense Attorney ratings on Avvo, while receiving the Superb Lawyer Rating Award.

Board Certified

Criminal Defense Attorney Specialist

Criminal Specialist

Sam Adamo was one of the first Texas criminal defense attorneys to be honored as a board certified criminal law specialist.

Houston’s Best

Criminal Law

Named “. . . one of the outstanding criminal defense attorneys in Houston . . . ” by the Houston Chronicle.

5-Star Client Rating

Criminal Defense Law Firm

The Adamo and Adamo Criminal Defense Law Firm has achieved a five-star customer rating on GoogleYelp, and Avvo.

Former Prosecutor

Special Crimes

Sam Adamo worked as a Harris County prosecutor while forming and leading the first special crimes division.

Former Counsel

Houston Police Union

Known as a trusted criminal defense source, Sam Adamo provided consulting and counseling for the Houston Police Officer’s Union.

Featured Attorneys

Texas Bar Blog

The Adamo and Adamo Criminal Defense Law Firm is a consistent source for the Texas State Bar.

Contact our Houston Criminal Lawyers Now!

(281) 944-4843

3200 Travis 4th Floor Houston, TX 77006