QUESTION: WHAT IF YOU INTERVIEW A WITNESS WHO SWEARS HE KNOWS NOTHING?
ANSWER: THIS CAN BE JUST AS IMPORTANT AS ONE WHO DOES KNOW SOMETHING.
GET HIS STATEMENT, SAYING HE KNOWS NOTHING. TWO MONTHS LATER HE MAY
SHOW UP IN COURT AS A WITNESS FOR THE OTHER SIDE, CLAIMING TO KNOW A GREAT
DEAL ABOUT THE CASE. IF THIS HAPPENS, THE PROSECUTOR WILL HAVE TO BE ABLE
TO IMPEACH HIM. THE STATEMENT YOU TOOK EARLIER WILL DO JUST THAT. AGAIN,
DO NOT RELY ON MEMORY. GET IT IN WRITING.
QUESTION: WHY ELSE IS IT IMPORTANT FOR YOU TO DOCUMENT EVERYTHING?
ANSWER: ANOTHER REASON FOR CAREFULLY DOCUMENTING EVERYTHING IS THAT
THE INVESTIGATION MAY GO ON OVER SEVERAL MONTHS. YOU MAY HAVE TO TURN
IT OVER TO ANOTHER INVESTIGATOR. THE NEW AGENT WILL NEED TO KNOW WHAT
YOU DID AND WHY. WHAT WERE YOU GOING AFTER? WHERE WERE YOU HEADING?
WHAT WAS YOUR PLAN OF ATTACK? WHAT DID YOU DO? WHAT REMAINS TO BE
DONE? DO NOT JUST TURN OVER BOXES OF DOCUMENTS TO HIM. THERE IS NO NEED
FOR HIM/HER TO REDO WHAT YOU ALREADY HAVE DONE. LET HIM KNOW JUST
WHERE YOU WERE GOING, WHERE YOU HAVE BEEN, AND WHY YOU WENT THERE.
OTHERWISE, ALL OF YOUR EFFORTS MAY GO TO WASTE.
3. Don't Underestimate the Case. If we are dealing with a false claim, you need to
understand the claims process. Approaching a case of contract fraud without an understanding of the
procurement system is not likely to produce any success. Therefore, discuss the "system" with a
knowledgeable expert who will guide you through the process and give you a better understanding of
4. Don't Underestimate the Suspect. Remember the nature of the case and the level of
intelligence and sophistication of the witness. Interviews can easily produce misleading information and
clever interviewees can create exculpatory information. The suspect may have a PhD and may be an
expert in computer science, American history, etc. Do not hesitate to bring agency personnel into the
investigation. They can, of course, pinpoint areas of suspicious activity upon which you will focus your
5. Coordinate with JAG. Understand that you have to sell the case to JAG. You may have
lived with the case for quite some time, and may be very familiar with all of its intricacies. The trial
counsel, however, may know nothing of it until you walk into his office. He will not know the
background of what led to the investigation or what you have discovered. You, therefore, need to
package the case for him also. You need to put the investigative effort into a format that makes sense.
Remember that YOU are the expert investigator. A sloppy product will most probably result in equally
QUESTION: SHOULD YOU COORDINATE THE CASE WITH JAG AT A VERY EARLY STAGE?
ANSWER: YES. IN A COMPLEX INVESTIGATION, YOU SHOULD SCHEDULE PERIODIC
BRIEFINGS. YOU BOTH SHOULD BE THINKING ALONG THE SAME LINES. DO NOT WAIT
UNTIL THE INVESTIGATION IS OVER BEFORE YOU CONTACT THE PROSECUTOR FOR
THE FIRST TIME. ONCE YOU HAVE A BASIC OUTLINE OR THEORY OF THE CASE,