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Friday, June 3, 2011

Under Investigation: Are You Tough Enough?

If you were under criminal investigation, could you handle the pressure?

Would you be a piece of coal that turns rock-hard into a diamond, or crumbles into dust?

This morning's New York Times details a commodities trader's recent suicide after the revelation in an ongoing insider trading criminal trial in Manhattan that the trader had been taping conversations with colleagues since 2008.

The Times story makes it sound as if the trader, Ephraim Karpel, was some poor soul. In fact, he had been cooperating (and his wife claims this was the legal advice he had gotten) with federal investigators. This almost always means that the "cooperator" has done something wrong and arguably criminal.

One must ask what drove someone like Karpel to suicide. After all, there are many successful people in finance or other professions who get investigated. Many find the experience highly unpleasant and stressful -- and these are the people who are innocent and withstand government pressure. Others decide to succumb to pressure, even if it means committing perjury, because it is the easy way out.

One item from the article stands out. Karpel's wife, Fran Karpel, said that they had no one to talk to. They kept the investigation an absolute secret.

I offer counseling and advice to people who are involved in life-altering litigation, investigations or prosecutions. These situations are unpleasant, but survivable. I help people develop and discover their mental strength, the monster within, to help them withstand the pressure and develop the courage to fight and win.

If your reputation, freedom and sanity are of value to you, and you find yourself in this situation, you need to call me.

Eric Dixon is a New York lawyer and strategic analyst.  Mr. Dixon is the principal of Eric Dixon LLC.  Mr. Dixon is a 1994 graduate of Yale Law School and has significant experience in business and securities matters and election law issues.  Mr. Dixon may be reached at 917-696-2442  and by e-mail at

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