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If the entrepreneur is suddenly the suspect.

Weening Criminal Lawyers If the business owner is suddenly a suspect.

You are an entrepreneur and busy running your business. But then FIOD shows up at your door early in the morning. FIOD first thing in the morning at the door. Would you like to come along for a moment? An entrepreneur who is suddenly a suspect. It happens more often than thought. In nine out of 10 cases, the entrepreneur turns to his lawyer, the lawyer who also handles his other cases such as dismissal or rent issues. "Don't," says Serge Weening. "Go to a criminal law specialist."

Weening is a criminal lawyer with offices in Maastricht, Utrecht and Roermond. Many of his clients are suspects in drug or murder cases. That is what his office with ten criminal lawyers specializes in. But what many entrepreneurs do not know is that corporate criminal law is also a specialty and that an entrepreneur may unintentionally have to deal with it.

I learned an awful lot from Moszkowicz senior


Attorney Weening cites the example of a Limburg entrepreneur who produces energy drinks. "A perfectly legal company. Yet the police showed up at the entrepreneur's doorstep. A batch of caffeine, one of the ingredients for energy drinks, turned out to have turned up in the production of the drug amphetamine. The business owner had sold the raw materials in good faith and it later turned out that they had been used in a drug laboratory. Whether the entrepreneur could briefly explain how his raw materials ended up in a drug lab. From one moment to the next, the hardworking entrepreneur was a suspect in a drug case," said the lawyer.

Weening: "My advice: step to a criminal lawyer. For many entrepreneurs, the threshold for going to a criminal lawyer is greater than going to his own lawyer. After all, the firms are associated with drug criminals and serious crime. Still, I would advise every entrepreneur to hire a specialist. I sometimes compare that to health. If you have a heart problem you still prefer to go to a specialist than to the general practitioner. The general practitioner diagnoses the medical problem initially, but after that you really would rather go to a heart specialist."


Many business owners do not think about it on a daily basis, but the danger of coming into contact with the law lurks everywhere. Companies as well as executives and employees can be held criminally liable for a particular act or omission. This can include workplace accidents, environmental violations, tax criminal cases, fraud and corruption cases.

Weening: "In a workplace accident, for example. An employee falls off scaffolding or a construction crane falls over. The labor inspectorate will conduct an investigation to see if the employer has protected his employees sufficiently and he cannot be charged with anything criminal. Another example is (tax) fraud. In a business where a lot of paperwork is done, something can always (unintentionally) go wrong. Before you know it, you are suspected of forgery while your staff is at fault.


Weening's own practice has existed since 2004. The 44-year-old lawyer's teacher is Dutch best-known criminal lawyer Max Moszkowicz. "I learned an awful lot from Moszkowicz senior. Especially his eye for detail. That was magisterial. He could see the details that were important in a criminal case like no other. Details that others did not see. And those details ultimately make the difference.

Serge Weening advises business owners who are under suspicion to hire a criminal lawyer as soon as possible. "Prompt guidance prevents a business owner from saying things that may not work in his favor," he says. And although many serious criminal cases frequently make it to the media, it's good for entrepreneurs to know that Weening is actually doing everything possible to keep a case out of the media. It's quite something when the FIOD does a raid. That has an impact on your business. The last thing you want is to also suffer image damage because you are extensively in the media with your company." <<

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