When there is an investigation into an environmental crime, typically, witnesses are called before the grand jury. On occasion, I have been asked the question by appearing witnesses: “Am I a target?” Being a “target” or a “subject” has different meanings than what a lay person may ascribe to the terms.
Before I allow a witness to testify before a grand jury, I contact the AUSA handling the matter and ask whether the person is a target or subject and then ask for such a letter, if appropriate.
As defined by the United States Attorney’s Manual: “A ‘target’ is a person as to whom the prosecutor or the grand jury has substantial evidence linking him or her to the commission of a crime and who, in the judgment of the prosecutor, is a putative defendant. . . . A ‘subject’ of an investigation is a person whose conduct is within the scope of the grand jury's investigation.” US Attorney’s Manual, Section 9-11.151 - Advice of “Rights” of Grand Jury Witnesses. The United States Attorney’s Manual provides a sample target letter. sample target letter
As always, feel free to contact me by e-mail with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.