Import and Export Law

Fines, Penalties, Seizures, and Forfeitures

  • What should you do when U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) penalizes you for a perceived violation?
  • How should you proceed when you are notified by the Office of Export Enforcement (OEE) that you violated the Export Administration Regulations?
  • What steps should you take if you receive a subpoena or summons from the Government? What can you do when enforcement officials seize your shipment?
  • What if you have been accused of violating someone’s trademark?
  • How would you handle a Request for Information?
  • What do you do with a search warrant?

If you get the slightest indication that you are in trouble with federal enforcement officials, immediately retain experienced legal counsel. The pitfalls of not doing so are almost endless.

  • Have you considered the risk posed by whistleblowers, whether inside or outside your company?
  • Did you know that you someone can turn you in anonymously and be rewarded handsomely (The False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. §3729 and 19 USC 1619)?
  • Did you know that you can be imprisoned for lying to a federal official or for obstructing an investigation?

There are many ways to get into trouble with federal enforcement authorities, but only one proven method of extricating yourself from the mess–hiring competent legal counsel.

GRVR Attorneys has extensive experience in negotiating with enforcement authorities on clients’ behalf. If that does not work, we take the offensive at the administrative level or in court. Our first goal is to have our clients continue to doing business. This may mean petitioning for the release of seized cargo or the return of vital records. We seek to have enforcement officials withdraw or mitigate (reduce) any penalties. We also explore the possibility of filing a voluntary self disclosure (also known as a prior disclosure). We have a proven record of helping our clients.

There are many reasons to depend on an experienced trade attorney. First, you need a trained legal advocate to defend your interests. Second, you need the attorney-client privilege to protect your communications against unwanted disclosure to third parties or to the Government. And, third, you do not want to make mistakes as you plan your defense. This includes planning carefully what to say to investigators, what to tell employees, deciding what documents and records to keep and produce, and possibly filing a voluntary self-disclosure (sometimes referred to as a prior disclosure).

Renee E. Stein, Attorney at Law can provide the legal advocacy you need during these emergencies.

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