New York white-collar defense attorneys at Joseph Potashnik and Associates PC provide quality legal representation of individuals accused of bribery in state and federal courts. With years of experience and thousands of cases we defended, our lawyers built a solid track record of success in even the most complex criminal cases.
Federal Commercial Bribery Charges
In general, commercial bribery is the act where an employee, agent, or a person with fiduciary relationship to a principal is bribed with the intent to obtain and secure an advantage over other business competitors. Both the giving and receiving of the bribe is illegal. Commercial Bribery is the breach of duty to act disinterestedly. Government attempts to deter Commercial Bribery can be found un the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Internal Revenue Service, and Antitrust.
Commercial bribery is often prosecuted under the Mail Fraud Statute. Prosecutors may also seeking Racketeering, and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) as a way of charging commercial bribers. There are also federal statutes that prohibit conduct, which may not appear as common examples of commercial bribery. For example, kickbacks are also prosecuted. Specifically, 42 U.S.C. ß 1395nn(b)(1) and (b)(2) pertain to payments made to refer a patient for services or items paid under the Medicare program.
An individual may also be found guilty of Commercial Bribery if he presents himself to the public as being in the service of making a disinterested opinion, appraisal or criticism, and he solicit, accepts, or agrees to accept a benefit in order to influence his selection, appraisal, or criticism.
New York Commercial Bribery
In New York Commercial Bribery is a felony crime. Commercial Bribery in the First Degree is under New York Penal Code Section 180.03, and considered a Class E felony that can result in incarceration.
To prove that an individual is guilty of commercial bribery the prosecution must prove the following five elements beyond a reasonable doubt. The prosecution must show that the
- individual conferred, or offered, or agreed to confer and benefit upon a person who was an employee, agent, or fiduciary of a principal;
- the amount of the benefits was over $1000;
- the individual acted without consent of the employer or principal;
- the individual acted with the intent to influence the employee’s conduction in relation to his employer’s affairs;
- and, the individual’s conduct caused economic harm to the employer or principal in an amount over $250.
It has been held that it is not necessary to show that there has been actual or potential injury to the employer.
Receiving bribes in New York
An individual is guilty of Commercial Bribery not only when offering a bribe, but when receiving one has well. Bribe receiving in the First Degree is codified under New York Penal Code 180.08. It is considered a Class E Felony.
To prove that an individual is guilty of receiving commercial bribery in the First Degree, the prosecution must prove the following six elements beyond a reasonable doubt. The prosecution must show that the
- the individual was an employee, agent, or fiduciary;
- the person solicited, accepted, or agreed to accept a benefit from another person;
- the value of the benefit exceeded $1000;
- the employee, agent, fiduciary did so upon an agreement or understanding that such benefit would influence his conduct in relation to his employer’s affairs;
- the person did so without the consent of his employer; and
- the person’s conduct caused economic harm to the employer or principal in the amount of $250.
The economic harm to the employer or principal means an actual economic loss that is suffered by the employer or principal; one that would not have incurred in the absence of the corrupt arrangement.
A fiduciary relationship is best described as a legal duty to act in another party’s interest, due to the nature of the particular relationship between the individuals. It exists where an individual places special confidence in another to act on their behalf, in good faith, in general affairs or business.
An individual may be convicted if he solicits, accepts, or agrees to accept any benefit as consideration, in which he has a duty of fidelity. Individuals often found in a role requiring a duty of fidelity are:
- agent or employee;
- trustee, guardian;
- lawyer, physician, accountant, appraiser;
- officer, director, partner, manager;
- duly elected officials, or appointed representatives;
- arbitrator or other purportedly disinterested adjudicator
If you have been investigated for bribery or corruption, our attorneys are always here to help. Remember that you should not speak with investigators before discussing your case with an experienced attorney. Call us today at (212) 577-6677 to set up an immediate consultation.