A prosecutor can decide that a case should be brought to a grand jury, a group of 16 to 23 people who would then determine whether or not to indict someone. At least 12 members of the 16- to 23-person grand jury must agree that a person should be indicted in order for the charges to be handed down.
A grand jury will convene to determine whether someone should be indicted on any federal-level felony charges, according to the Justice Department’s website.
According to the American Bar Association, “when a grand jury returns an indictment or a prosecutor files an information, a judge or magistrate issues a warrant for the arrest of the person charged if not already under arrest, and the person is taken into custody.”
As an example, on July 24, a former CEO of a Virginia technology company was charged by federal indictment with participating in a scheme that defrauded investors out of millions of dollars.
The indictment charged Trustify Inc. co-founder Daniel Boice with five counts of wire fraud, one count of securities fraud and two counts of money laundering. It alleges Boice, 41, of Alexandria, Virginia, fraudulently solicited investments in his Arlington-based company, which was billed as a service for connecting customers with private investigators.
Boice raised approximately $18.5 million from more than 90 investors and diverted much of that money for his personal benefit, the Justice Department said in a news release.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.