A CFTC proffer is also known as “queen for a day.” They are agreements made between federal attorneys and individuals under investigation. It allows the individual to tell the government about what they know – with protection against them in any proceedings later. Attorney proffers are different, and occur when an attorney talks to the government without the client present.
It is the first step before a client proffer, since it gives the government a way to learn about what the client knows and will say – without having to negotiate immunity and other information. An attorney proffer is great because it gives the lawyer an opportunity to influence what the government thinks about the client – and influence the value of the client in the eyes of the prosecutor. During an attorney proffer, the attorney makes a presentation to the prosecutor, in addition to you(the client) answering questions the prosecutor has.
Like any type of proffer deal, a CFTC proffer has risks. The biggest risk is the fact what you tell the government could cause the investigation to expand. Government investigations are confidential, and there’s a risk of over-informing the government.
If you are facing an investigation by the CFTC, we encourage you to speak to the Spodek Law Group. We can help.
FAQ about CFTC Attorney Proffers
During investigations, prosecutors try to use proffer letters to get information from people under investigation, or who are witnesses to crimes. These agreements can bring benefits and come with risks.
What’s a client proffer letter
It’s an agreement drafted by prosecutors which sets rules for a potential conversation between a prosecutor and the defendant/witness. The witness tells the government everything they know about alleged crimes. This information will not be used against the client.
How might you benefit from this
Over 95% of people charged with a crime get convicted. Over 90% of people resolve their cases with a plea agreement. The government often wins most trials. Most of the time, people charged with a crime will make a deal. Sometimes the person who makes a deal the fastest – gets the best deal. When your lawyer makes a deal with the government, he/she is selling the government on the fact your knowledge is the most valuable to the government’s case. The CFTC attorney proffer is a way to accomplish that.
What’s the drawback of doing this
First, you’re telling the government things it may not necessarily know. Your exposing yourself to pressure, because if the government doesn’t believe your saying the truth – it can charge you with false statements. An unsuccessful interview could create additional crimes your client is charged wit.
What type of immunity does a CFTC proffer agreement offer?
These proffer agreements offer limited immunity. In the 1950’s, the government wanted information from people, so it called transactional immunity. It meant you couldn’t be prosecuted for the “transaction,” that you had provided information for. It mean lots of murderers didn’t get charged with murder. The government began offering immunity. This immunity prevents indirect, and direct, use of information the informant provides. Moreover, the government realized that this program was resulting in tons of great information, like additional names, additional informants, additional unreported crimes, etc. Now in a CFTC proffer agreements, as long as you abide by the proffer agreement – your words will not be used against you. Stray away from the agreement, and your words will be used against you.
Usually the government wants to talk to the witness directly and see what they have to say. They don’t like offering immunity unless they have to. They would rather prefer a client pleads guilty to something minor.
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