Use of General Counsel as Informant Against Corporate Client – A Reminder of the New Era in Aggressive White Collar Investigative Techniques and of the Limitations of the Attorney-Client Privilege
The use of more aggressive investigative techniques in white-collar corporate probes in the aftermath of the last financial crisis is no secret. Over the last decade, law enforcement has increasingly resorted to investigating financial crimes through methods more typically reserved for ferreting out organized crime, terrorism, and drug cartels. Indeed, wiretaps and confidential informants have become regular weapons in the Government’s arsenal. The recent news, however, that a New Jersey District Court will now allow secret recordings made by a General Counsel of his conversations with the company’s CEO stands as a sobering reminder of the new era in the war against financial crime and of the boundaries of attorney- client confidentiality in the corporate setting.
The referenced case involves the former General Counsel of PetroTiger Ltd., who turned government informant and secretly recorded a conversation with Petro Tiger’s CEO during which the CEO allegedly acknowledged a scheme to bribe a foreign official in order to secure a lucrative business contract.Read More