An employee may be charged with commercial bribery if he or she agrees to award a contract or a bid, or to purchase products or services from a company in exchange for a personal benefit and contrary to the benefit of his/her employer. Commercial bribery can take the form of a kickback or a bribe. Commercial bribery is a crime under the laws of Florida and has been prosecuted in federal court under the mail and wire fraud statutes.
One can be found guilty of commercial bribery for advertising oneself as an impartial agent while one is actually soliciting or accepting a benefit that influences the selection of a company or product. It is common for the employee to also be charged with federal mail and wire fraud, conspiracy, and tax evasion, in cases involving commercial bribery brought in federal court.
Our white-collar crimes lawyers defend purchasing agents, realtors, government employees, financial advisors, and other types of employees facing felony criminal charges for commercial bribery. In Florida, commercial bribery is considered a felony if the value of the benefit to the employee is $500 or more.
The Grey Area of Interpretation
Very few corporate bribery cases involve suitcases full of money or other blatant handouts. Most corporate bribery cases involve much more subtle fact scenarios and are won and lost in a grey area of interpretation. Many instances of corporate bribery are concealed so as to raise no suspicion, and many innocent day-to-day business interactions can be seen as bribery. Some examples of conduct that businesses engage in without consideration of bribery laws include:
- A corporation giving generous gratuities
- A corporate officer or executive taking a government official, potential customer or purchasing agent to lunch, dinner, or business trips, or other promotional activities
- Drug companies offering travel or lodging in relation to educating doctors on their products
There are rules regarding gratuities in the corporate environment. If you have been accused of giving or receiving illegal gratuities or bribes, or if you think you might be under investigation for this crime, our lawyers can help you mount a defense.
Contact Our Corporate Gratuities Attorney
To speak with an attorney regarding corporate bribery charges, call our Florida law office at (866) 784-0023 or contact us online. Our phones are answered 24 hours a day to ensure that we can respond quickly to legal emergencies.