In today’s post entitled Advice from a convicted felon: How the government investigates and prosecutes white collar criminal cases, Sam Antar gives us an education on how the federal government goes after the “fish” in a criminal case.
And Sam should know. After all, he’s the former CFO of Crazy Eddie and has years of experience related to government criminal investigations. He refers to the big fish (someone like the CEO or President or majority owner of the company), the middle fish (middle management) and the small fish (non-management employees).
The feds like to work their way up the food chain until they get to the biggest fish. They start with the small fish and work on flipping him, and so on up the ladder as they get the goods on people at each level above.
Sam talks a lot about the dangers for the small fish and the middle fish, and how fish above them start distancing themselves from the lower fish as an investigation heats up.
And with Patrick Byrne of Overstock.com as the admitted target of a federal investigation, you’ve got to wonder if he’s started to distance himself from Judd Bagley. After all, Patrick has to hope that by distancing himself from Bagley, he may not be held responsible for the questionable activities of his head of public relations.
At least on one issue, Judd can rest easy. Patrick owns those financial statements. Judd doesn’t. Judd just owns the “black ops.”