Samples of Federal Target Letters from U.S. Attorney's Offices


We have seen a number of different kinds of target letters over the years and across different parts of the United States Department of Justice.

Here is the text of three basic kinds, where the action item in the target letter is noted. Where there’s something in brackets, that notes a place where more specific information would be filled in.

Letter 1: Request for a Lawyer Call

[Official DOJ Letterhead]

Dear [Name]:

[A law enforcement agency, FBI, IRS, Postal Inspector, an Office of Inspector General, etc.] is investigating you in connection with [some federal crime].

This office is preparing to present evidence to a federal grand jury and ask for an indictment. If you would like to resolve this matter before an indictment and the possible issuance of an arrest warrant, please have an attorney representing you contact me before [some date that’s perhaps two weeks off].

If you believe that you cannot afford your own attorney, but would like one to assist you in this matter, please completed the enclosed form and present it to the Federal Public Defender’s Office for [this judicial district].

Sincerely,

Assistant United States Attorney

Letter 2: Request for a Meeting


[Official DOJ Letterhead]

Dear [Name]:

[A law enforcement agency, FBI, IRS, Postal Inspector, an Office of Inspector General, etc.], assisted by this Office, is investigating you in connection with [some federal crime].

I would like to meet with you to discuss this investigation. Please come to my office at [some date and time in the very near future] to meet to discuss this investigation. If you do not attend that meeting or respond to this letter, then this office is prepared to present evidence to a federal grand jury and ask for an indictment. If you do not attend this meeting, we may seek an arrest warrant if an indictment is returned against you.

If you believe that you cannot afford your own attorney, but would like one to assist you in this matter, please completed the enclosed form and present it to the Federal Public Defender’s Office for [this judicial district].

Sincerely,

Assistant United States Attorney

Sample Letter 3: Come to the Grand Jury


[Official DOJ Letterhead]

Dear [Name]:

You are the target of an investigation by a Grand Jury sitting in [court location]. In connection with that investigation, you are invited to testify before the Grand Jury.

As a Grand Jury witness you will be asked to testify and answer questions, and to produce records and documents. Only the members of the Grand Jury, attorneys for the United States and a stenographer are permitted in the Grand Jury room while you testify.

We advise you that the Grand Jury is conducting an investigation of possible violations of federal criminal laws involving, but not necessarily limited to [insert description of possible criminal offenses]. You are advised that the destruction or alteration of any document required to be produced before the grand jury constitutes serious violation of federal law, including but not limited to Obstruction of Justice.

You are advised that you are a target of the Grand Jury's investigation. You may refuse to answer any question if a truthful answer to the question would tend to incriminate you. Anything that you do or say may be used against you in a subsequent legal proceeding. If you have retained counsel, who represents you personally, the Grand Jury will permit you a reasonable opportunity to step outside the Grand Jury room and confer with counsel if you desire.

Cordially,

Assistant United States Attorney

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