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What happens if my boss asks me to break the law?

On Behalf of | May 24, 2022 | White Collar Crimes |

As a business professional, you likely want to excel at your job as you climb the corporate ladder. This often means diligently following your boss’s orders. However, what can you do if your boss asks you to commit a fraud crime?

What is fraud?

Fraud is a type of white-collar crime. Fraud occurs when a person intentionally deceives another intending to unlawfully gain that person’s property. Some types of fraud include tax fraud, securities fraud and bankruptcy fraud. For example, your employer may ask you to “cook the books” or participate in a “pump and dump” scheme. If as an employee you are asked to do something illegal, you may wonder if you can say “no” without being retaliated against.

Your rights as an employee

If your boss asks you to break the law and you do so, you can find yourself facing criminal charges. It is no defense for you to claim you were just following orders.

However, you must handle such requests with caution. You can email your boss or otherwise put it in writing why you will not follow an order to do something illegal. You can seek the advice of your boss’s boss. You can bring the matter up to your human resources department. Ultimately, you have the right to say “no.”

If you take on the role of a “whistle-blower” know that your employer cannot legally retaliate against you. If they do, you have rights that will be protected. Also, you can always resign. No orders are worth jeopardizing your career and reputation.

Are you facing fraud charges?

If you are facing business fraud charges because your employer asked you to do something illegal, you need to know all your defense options. Simply following orders is not enough to get you off the hook. You will want to consult a professional experienced in fraud crimes to help you formulate a defense strategy that is in your best interests.