If you are convicted of a federal fraud, you could face serious penalties such as high fines and time in prison. Fraud is normally a financial crime, so the financial implications of getting caught committing fraud can be extreme.
One form of financial fraud is bribery. If you're accepting an item of value or money in exchange for influence in the government, you could be accused of fraud and face federal charges. Bribery is always used to influence or alter the actions of those in power. It's generally seen as an act that leads to political and public corruption.
This crime can be associated with extortion, but they are very different. Bribery tries to influence an official through gifts, whereas extortion involves threats of violence or negative acts if the official does not act in compliance with the extortionist's wishes.
What are the parts of a federal bribery charge?
- In most cases, the person who is being bribed must be a federal official
- The official may have influence to commit an official act
- A thing of value must be offered
- An official act could happen that may be influenced by the said bribe
- There must be intent
- The prosecution has to show a casual connection between a gift and the outcome of an official's actions
Bribery can be complicated to prove, and investigations may take time. If you're the center of an investigation, let your attorney know right away. The actions you take could help you prevent any long-term damage to your reputation and help you avoid a conviction for fraud.