Political corruption is the use of powers by government officials for illegitimate private gain. An illegal act by an officeholder constitutes political corruption only if the act is directly related to their official duties, is done under color of law or involves trading in influence. Forms of corruption vary, but include bribery, extortion, cronyism, nepotism, gombeenism, parochialism patronage, influence peddling, graft, and embezzlement. Corruption may facilitate criminal enterprise such as drug trafficking, money laundering, and human trafficking, though is not restricted to these activities. Misuse of government power for other purposes, such as repression of political opponents and general police brutality, is also considered political corruption.
Punishments for corruption offenses can range from up to 5 years in prison to up to 20 years in prison.
The FBI investigates a wide range of corruption including, but not limited to:
• Investigating violations of federal law by public officials at the federal, state, and local levels of government;
• Overseeing the nationwide investigation of allegations of fraud related to federal government procurement, contracts, and federally funded programs;
• Combating the threat of public corruption along the nation's borders and points of entry in order to decrease the country's vulnerability to drug and weapons trafficking, alien smuggling, espionage, and terrorism; and,
• Addressing environmental crime, election fraud, and matters concerning the federal government procurement, contracts, and federally funded programs.
If you or a loved one are under investigation for or charged with a corruption offense, contact Attorney Watkins regarding your case.