How your Texas professional license can come under scrutiny

A central point to note about white collar probes alleging wrongdoing is that they can be authored by multiple agencies and enforcement groups.

It is not uncommon, for example, for a Texas resident targeted in a fraud matter to be closely surveilled by both civil regulators and criminal justice officials. A U.S. Securities Exchange Commission investigatory arm might be intimately focused on an alleged wrongdoer suspected of Medicare-linked misconduct, with U.S. Department of Justice agents closely probing the same matter. State civil and/or criminal officials might additionally be tracking the same person as well.

An ancillary point to note concerning such multi-sourced scrutiny is that the penalties tied to a civil settlement and criminal outcome can be materially different in their scope and severity. Notably, they range from fines and victim restitution to lengthy prison terms. Moreover, they can be grounded in both federal and state law violations.

What many professionals from various industries in Texas and elsewhere often fail to appreciate is that exactions even beyond those linked with civil lawsuits and criminal proceedings can also arise in matters alleging wrongdoing. They sometimes do so when administrative actions precede, accompany or follow other investigations.

In Texas, what is often at stake in hearings before bodies such as the State Bar, Department of Public Safety, Medical Board and other regulatory groups is the professional license held by a party under investigation.

The bottom line: It can be revoked or suspended in some instances, which spells a heavy blow to a license holder. Doctors, lawyers, accountants, dentists, financial advisers and other professionals work long and hard to attain valued credentials. Losing them can sabotage a career and yield multiple other harsh outcomes.

Texas residents with questions regarding investigations carried out by state administrative agencies and related bodies can contact a Houston law firm with proven experience representing clients before regulatory entities.