Gifting anything of value to a public official in order to influence an official act, or an official soliciting from another person something of value in order to influence an official act can be charged as federal bribery. Furthermore, there are special bribery laws. These include bribing a bank examiner, bribing associated with certain loans and bank transactions and bribing connected to the sale or distribution of alcoholic beverages. Plus, federal United States law prohibits travel between states with the intent to bribe. If you have been charged with this type of federal white collar crime by the Federal District Attorney in Tampa or anywhere in Florida, it is in your best interest to secure a Tampa bribery defense lawyer as early in your case as possible.
Do not say anything that might incriminate you. Speak with an attorney first.
Examples of recent and ongoing federal bribery cases
- NCAA Division I Basketball. In 2017, four NCAA assistant basketball coaches and an executive from athletic gear company Adidas were charged with bribery and fraud in federal court. An FBI informant had worked with the prosecutors for a number of years leading up to the charges. The charges brought against the coaches allege that they accepted bribes to recommend certain financial advisers to up-and-coming basketball recruits. The Adidas executive was charged with paying the families of elite high school basketball players in order to influence them to choose Adidas-sponsored colleges and universities. This case continues to grow as more than 12 additional schools, over 25 basketball players and the sporting goods company Nike were implicated in early 2018.
- Trina Healthcare. In January 2019, the CEO of Trina Healthcare plead guilty to bribing an Alabama state legislator. The CEO tried to implement a plan that health insurance company Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama would cover treatments to the benefit of Trina Healthcare clinics. Also indicted in the case are two former Alabama state representatives and a lobbyist.
- Venezuela’s state-owned energy company (PDVSA). A Texas man was charged and in a plea deal has plead guilty to money laundering and making false statements on his federal tax return. The man was originally charged with receiving illegal payments from those desiring to do business with PDVSA. Investigators had determined that the man had received more than half-a-million dollars in bribes.
- Goldman Sachs. The huge investment bank may be subject to significant fines and sanctions associated with the alleged bribery actions of two former executives of the Wall Street firm. The executives are accused of using money from a Malaysian client in order to bribe overseas companies to lock up business for the New York investment firm in 2012 and 2013.
As you can see from these examples, many types of actions can be subject to federal scrutiny and charges of bribery. Most cases take years to investigate and prosecute. If you are charged with or think you may be charged with federal bribery accusations, Joffe Law, P.A. can help see you through the case. We have experience in Tampa and Hillsborough County working with the local Federal District Attorney’s office. We will work tirelessly to defend your case.
Possible defenses to counter charges
If you are facing federal bribery charges, the Federal District Attorney will try to build a case to prove your guilt. However, bribery is not always easily proven. Here are some factors that could be used to show that a federal crime was not committed.
- Was there a gift of value that was given in exchange for a favor or benefit to the giver? Perhaps the gift was given as a sign of support or gratitude and the giver did not receive anything in exchange.
- Is there a link between the gift and the alleged illegal influence? Cause and effect are always difficult to prove. Even if both parties seem to have benefited from the transaction, there may not have been a situation of bribery.
- Did the giver have the intent to influence? It is always burdensome to prove a person’s internal thoughts and the purpose for a donation, contribution or offering may be hard to show.
- Was the receiver induced to do something they otherwise might not have done? There is a chance that the action that was taken by the receiver would have been taken without the exchange from the giver. The apparent beneficiary may have actually received no additional benefit what-so-ever as a result of a seeming bribe.
- Other possible defense positions against federal bribery charges include duress and entrapment.
Put a Tampa bribery defense attorney to work for you
When you are facing bribery charges in the Tampa area, your first step should be to put a federal defense attorney on your team. The Tampa bribery lawyers at Joffe Law know the federal laws under which charges are being brought against you. We also understand the defenses that have proven to work most successfully against federal charges. The professionals at our firm will review every detail of your case. Because every case truly presents its own best defense, it is important that you share all the details of your actions with a qualified attorney.
Joffe Law, P.A. will scrutinize every aspect of the charges against you and every wrinkle in the situation that is causing you to be charged. The federal court system can be complex and forbidding, but we are familiar with the US District Attorney and the methods of the Tampa Federal Court. We will work relentlessly in your defense and make sure that your rights are protected every step of the way. It is important to call us early in your case, so we can make sure there are no missteps taken that could inadvertently be used against you. Let’s talk today about the charges you are facing and any ongoing investigations into your actions.