Public corruption

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Date: Spring 2011
From: American Criminal Law Review(Vol. 48, Issue 2)
Publisher: Georgetown University Law Center
Document Type: Article
Length: 27,124 words
Lexile Measure: 2360L

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I. INTRODUCTION II. BRIBERY AND ILLEGAL GRATUITY A. Elements of the Bribery and Illegal Gratuity Offenses 1. Thing of Value 2. Public Official or Witness 3. Official Act 4. Intent a. Bribery b. Illegal Gratuity B. Defenses 1. Entrapment 2. Due Process 3. Duress or Coercion 4. Other Defenses C. Penalties 1. Bribery Offenses a. Offenses Involving Public Officials i. More than One Bribe ii. Value of Greater than Five Thousand Dollars iii. High-Level and Sensitive Positions iv. Immigration Official v. Facilitating Other Offenses vi. Unknown Value or Incommensurate Effect b. Offenses Involving Witnesses 2. Illegal Gratuities Offenses a. Offenses Involving Public Officials i. More than One Illegal Gratuity ii. More than Five Thousand Dollars iii. High-Level or Sensitive Position iv. Immigration Official b. Offenses Involving Witnesses III. CRIMINAL CONFLICT OF INTEREST A. Unauthorized Compensation 1. Elements of the Offense a. Coverage b. Particular Matter c. Compensation d. Intent e. Forum 2. Defenses B. Limitations on Activities of Government Officers and Employees 1. Coverage 2. "Particular Matter" and "Agency" 3. Exceptions C. Post-Employment Activities 1. Elements of the Offense a. Coverage b. Representative or Agent c. Direct and Substantial Interest of the United States d. Participated "Personally and Substantially" in "Particular Matter" e. Knowledge D. Acts Affecting Financial Interest 1. Elements of the Offense a. Officer or Employee b. Participated "Personally and Substantially" in "Particular Matter" c. Knowledge of Financial Interest 2. Defenses E. Illegal Outside Salaries for Federal Employees F. Penalties IV. THE HONEST-SERVICES DOCTRINE A. History of the Honest-Services Doctrine 1. Shushan and the Early Honest-Services Cases 2. McNally 3. Section 1346 B. The Current Honest-Services Doctrine 1. Skilling and Black 2. Elements of the Honest-Services Doctrine a. Defraud of Honest Services b. Bribes and Kickbacks


Congress has enacted a number of statutes designed to deter and punish acts of corruption involving public officials. (1) The discussion that follows examines several of the crimes enumerated by those statutes. Section II of this Article examines the elements of, defenses to, and penalties for the federal bribery (2) and illegal gratuity (3) offenses. Section III explores the elements of and defenses to the unauthorized compensation offense (4) and examines provisions limiting the activities of government officers and employees during (5) and after (6) their terms of employment. Section HI also analyzes the statutory provisions governing participation by government officials in activities in which the official has a financial interest, (7) as well as improper acceptance of certain outside compensation. (8) Section III concludes by discussing the penalties that the United States Sentencing Guidelines ("Guidelines" or "Sentencing Guidelines") authorize for persons who make criminal use of a public office for private gain. (9) Finally, Section IV addresses the Honest-Services Doctrine ("Doctrine") and the Supreme Court's recent limitation of the Doctrine's application to fraudulent deprivation of money or property, to


In 1962, Congress enacted a package of conflict of interest legislation which significantly revised the federal bribery statute. (11) These revisions laid the foundation for...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A267420324