Texas Attorney General Subpoenas
The Texas Attorney General’s Office investigates serious crimes independently and in conjunction with local and county law enforcement agencies statewide. Have you been served with a subpoena? Call 888-680-1745 now.
The Texas Attorney General’s Office (Texas OAG) is extremely active in its law enforcement efforts. While the Attorney General’s Office has a number of its own specific priorities, it also provides assistance to local and county law enforcement agencies during high-stakes investigations. If you have received a subpoena from the Texas OAG, you should engage experienced defense counsel promptly, as you need to make informed and strategic decisions in order to avoid unnecessary consequences.
Headquartered in Dallas, and with a staffed office in Houston, our firm provides defense representation for individuals and companies statewide during Texas Attorney General’s Office investigations. If you have been served with a subpoena, our defense lawyers can assist you in responding to the subpoena, and we can represent you throughout the duration of the investigation—and through trial if necessary. While you have a legal obligation to respond to the subpoena, you have legal rights that limit what information the Attorney General’s Office can compel you to provide as well. We can make sure you comply with the law while also protecting you to the fullest extent possible.
The Texas OAG’s Law Enforcement Divisions, Initiatives, and Priorities
While the Texas Attorney General’s Office pursues certain types of investigations independently, most of its investigations are the result of referrals received from local and county law enforcement agencies and prosecutors’ offices. As its website explains:
“The [Attorney General’s Office] Criminal Prosecutions Division has four sections that aid local jurisdictions where the county may not have the expertise or the resources available to investigate or prosecute a complex case. They assist if a conflict of interest prohibits the local jurisdiction from taking part in the case.
“Under Texas law, the county or district attorney has primary jurisdiction to prosecute most criminal offenses. The Office of the Attorney General assists local prosecutors at their request. . . .”
The Four Sections of Texas Attorney General’s Office Criminal Prosecution Division
As referenced in the quote above, the four sections of the Texas OAG’s Criminal Prosecution Division are:
1. Human Trafficking and Transnational/Organized Crime Section
The Criminal Prosecution Division’s Human Trafficking and Transnational/Organized Crime Section investigates allegations of human trafficking “and related crimes.” The Texas OAG descries human trafficking as, “modern-day slavery . . . the exploitation of men, women, and children for forced labor or sex by a third-party for profit or gain.”
In its efforts to put an end to human trafficking in Texas, the Human Trafficking and Transnational/Organized Crime Section is extremely active in targeting both organized criminal enterprises and individuals suspected of engaging in or facilitating human trafficking. The penalties for human trafficking are severe, and if you have received a Texas OAG subpoena in relation to a human trafficking investigation you need to engage experienced defense counsel immediately.
2. White-Collar Crime and Public Integrity Section
The Criminal Prosecution Division’s White-Collar Crime and Public Integrity Section uses the Texas OAG’s subpoena power to investigate suspected fraud, cybercrimes, and violations of state election laws. Election integrity is currently one of the Texas Attorney General’s Office’s four primary initiatives—as a result of, “increasing allegations of voter fraud . . . within Texas.”
In addition to election law violations and other forms of public corruption, the White-Collar Crime and Public Integrity Section also investigates allegations of crimes including, but not limited to: bank, mortgage, and insurance fraud; money laundering and fraud conspiracies; cybersecurity breaches and corporate theft; and, online sexual predation and exploitation of adults and children.
3. Violent Crime and Major Offender Section
The Criminal Prosecution Division’s Violent Crime and Major Offender Section investigates capital murder cases, cybercrimes, and sex crimes involving child victims. All of these offenses carry substantial penalties under Texas law, and being targeted in an investigation by the Violent Crime and Major Offender Section is an extremely serious matter that requires a team of highly-skilled criminal defense attorneys.
4. Juvenile Crime Intervention Section
The Criminal Prosecution Division’s Juvenile Crime Intervention Section investigates a number of different types of cases involving juveniles—among the most serious of which are cases involving allegations of gang activity. All types of gang-related activities receive intense scrutiny from the Texas OAG, and receiving a subpoena in connection with allegations of money laundering, violent crimes, or other gang-related offenses is a serious matter that requires experienced legal representation. This is true for alleged gang members as well as bank personnel, accountants, and others who are accused of facilitating gang activity.
The Texas Attorney General’s Office Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU)
The Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) is a separate division of the Texas OAG. The MFCU investigates all forms of Medicaid fraud statewide, including fraud committed by healthcare providers, patients, and others. As examples of the types of cases it investigates, the MFCU lists:
- Billing Medicaid for tests and other procedures that were not actually performed
- Falsifying patient records in order to justify unnecessary tests or procedures
- Billing Medicaid for ambulance transportation that is not medically necessary
- Misappropriating money from nursing home residents’ trust funds
- Billing for name-brand medications when dispensing generic drugs to patients
- Billing Medicaid for ineligible or otherwise fraudulent home health agency services
- Billing patients for services or medications that have already been reimbursed by Medicaid
This list is not exhaustive, and combatting Medicaid fraud is an issue that has been on the Texas OAG’s list of priorities for a long time. If you have received a subpoena from the Texas Attorney General’s Office in relation to allegations of Medicaid fraud, our attorneys can help you, but it is important that you contact us right away.
Other Matters Investigated Via the Subpoena Power of the Texas Attorney General’s Office
Beyond handling investigations in these areas, the Attorney General’s Office targets various other types of crimes as well. In addition to the above types of cases, the Attorney General’s Office may also issue subpoenas in connection with investigations targeting:
- Antitrust violations
- Consumer protection violations
- Environmental law violations
- Fugitive apprehension
- Tax fraud and evasion
What Should You Do if You Receive a Subpoena from the Texas Attorney General’s Office?
If you have received a subpoena from the Texas Attorney General’s Office, or if you have received a judicial subpoena in a matter involving the Texas OAG, what should you do? Equally important, what should you not do in order to avoid increasing your risk of facing charges? Our recommendations include:
1. Review Your Texas OAG Subpoena Carefully
Review your subpoena carefully, and then review it again. Do you understand what is being requested? Do you have what is being requested? How are you supposed to respond, and how long do you have to do so? Before you take any other steps in response to a Texas Attorney General’s Office subpoena, you first need to understand the scope of the request and your legal obligations.
2. Engage Experienced Texas Defense Counsel
Upon receiving a Texas OAG subpoena, it is extremely important that you engage experienced defense counsel. As you only have a limited amount of time to respond (and to determine if you will challenge the subpoena), it is strongly in your best interests to engage defense counsel immediately. At Oberheiden P.C., we are available to provide immediate representation to individuals and companies in matters involving the Texas OAG.
3. Conduct an Internal Assessment or Audit
Prior to responding to a Texas OAG subpoena, it is important to conduct an internal assessment or audit—for two primary reasons. First, you need to have a comprehensive understanding of what information and records you have that are responsive to the subpoena. If you withhold information, even unintentionally, you can face prosecution regardless of whether you are ultimately charged with a substantive offense as a result of the Texas OAG’s investigation.
Second, you need to know whether and to what extent you are at risk as a result of the inquiry. Are the allegations founded; or, do you have a clear and unassailable defense? In order to decide on a defense strategy, you first need to know all of the relevant facts.
4. Determine if You Have Grounds to Challenge the Subpoena or Seek to Withhold Requested Information
Concurrently with conducting an internal audit or assessment, you will also want to work with your defense counsel to assess any grounds for challenging the subpoena or seeking to withhold requested information. There are various potential grounds for doing so, and you will need to rely on your attorneys’ advice in deciding how to respond.
5. Respond Appropriately and with a Broader Defense Strategy in Mind
Finally, once you have taken these preliminary steps, then you can prepare your response to the Texas OAG’s subpoena. When preparing your response, it is important to do so with a broader defense strategy in mind—as you do not want to inadvertently provide the Texas OAG with information that it can subsequently use to pursue civil or criminal charges in state court.
Discuss Your Texas OAG Subpoena with a Senior Defense Lawyer at Oberheiden P.C.
If you have received a subpoena from the Texas Attorney General’s Office, we encourage you to contact us immediately. To speak with one of our senior defense lawyers in confidence, call 888-680-1745 or tell us how we can reach you online now.