Public Corruption Hobbs Act

Public Corruption Hobbs Act

Hobbs Act and Federal Public Corruption Federal Defense Attorneys

Public corruption is a white-collar crime that arises when a public official abuses power in exchange for money or some other valuable asset. The best example of public corruption is taking or soliciting of bribes. Since public corruption poses a threat to public services, federal agencies such as the FBI aggressively prosecute people who are suspected to have committed or to have been involved in corruption. If you or someone you love is being investigated or has been arrested for public corruption, you should search for the legal assistance of a seasoned bribery Hobbs act federal appeals lawyers. Here is some valuable information on public corruption.  Return to our main federal appeals information page to read more.

Contact Brownstone Law to review your federal criminal appeal (888) 233-8895.

Types of Public Corruption

Public corruption can occur on the state or federal level. Some of the common ways public officials commit fraud and corruption include:

    • Graft
    • Bribery
  • Embezzlement of public funds
  • Extortion
  • Money laundering
  • Violating the laws on campaigning
  • Honest services fraud
  • Bid rigging
  • Defrauding the government

Statutes on Public Corruption

There are many statutes that govern how public corruption officials are prosecuted. The most common statutes include:

  • Hobbs Act: This statute prohibits attempted or actual extortion or robbery affecting foreign or interstate commerce.
  • Mail Fraud: This statute involves using mail services to execute fraudulent acts.
  • RICO: This statute is also called the “Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.” This is a federal statute designed to fight organized crime in the US.
  • Wire Fraud: This statute involves deceitful or fraudulent schemes executed through interstate wires.
  • Travel Act: This statute makes bribery that violates federal or state law, a federal offense
  • Foreign Corrupt Practices Act– This statute makes it illegal to issue payments to foreign government personnel to help in retaining or obtaining business
  • 18 USC 201: This statute is a federal bribery and gratuity law.

Punishment for Public Corruption Convictions

Public corruption carries severe penalties. Typically, punishment after a conviction could include imprisonment and fines. The fine is usually equivalent to the amount of money, goods, or services, that the accused has fraudulently acquired. The prison sentence for a public corruption case is long and may even go up to 20 years. Last but not least, a public official who is charged with corruption may lose their ability to run for public office. Cases of public corruption are also subject to the statute of limitations. Therefore, the prosecution should file their case against the public official within five years. The federal statute 18 USC 3282 states that a public official may be immune from prosecution if the offense they are charged with was not indicted within five years of committing the offense.

Features of a Public Corruption Case

In many public corruption cases, a grand jury investigation is conducted. The prosecutor will issue a grand jury subpoena to get information. Sometimes, these subpoenas are issued to the organizations which are under investigation. In such cases, the public corruption Hobbs act federal appeals lawyers representing the individual will not be the same lawyers representing the company. Prosecutors often use the results of their investigations and the grand jury subpoena process to lure the defense bribery appeal lawyers of employees to act as government witnesses against higher level executives.

Public corruption cases are also characterized by a lot of publicity. Publicity will be unfair for you if your name is linked with prosecution or investigation. The best strategy in this instance is not to admit or deny anything in public. In some cases, your lawyer will help you respond to the press and explain your position.

If you or your organization is indicted for public corruption, the law puts the burden of proof on the prosecution. The prosecution has to show corrupt intent or the motive to influence a public official. The laws on public corruption are ambiguous and to this end, you need a seasoned Hobbs act federal appeals lawyers to see your case through.

hobbs act federal appeals lawyers

The Hobbs Act and Honest Services Fraud

Prosecutors like to use the Hobbs Act and honest services fraud charges to strengthen their public corruption cases. The Hobbs Act was initially meant to prosecute racketeering when dealing with labor-management disputes. However, over the years, the Act has been used to prosecute those charged with public corruption based on the concept that kickbacks, gratuities, and bribes received or given the amount to extortion. The Hobbs Act allows prosecutors to seek after long sentences than what is available through other statutes.

The prosecutor can prosecute someone for stealing honest services from a private employer or the government, provided the U.S. interstate wires or mails are used during the alleged theft. For example, when a government official awards a contract to a close relative, this is stealing of honest services from the government. If the prosecutor cannot charge you with a specific crime, they may use honest services fraud as enough grounds for public corruption. This is because honest services fraud covers all types of conduct that is disfavored by the government.

Appealing a Public Corruption Case

During an appeal, your bribery appeal lawyer will move your case from a lower court (trial court) to a higher court or court of appeal. This is called a direct appeal. There are several issues a Hobbs act criminal appeals defense attorney can raise when filing a direct appeal. First, they may challenge the manner in which your pretrial motion was handled. In this case, they may challenge motions to suppress evidence or motions to dismiss. Secondly, your lawyer may challenge the trial itself. Your lawyer may raise concerns about whether certain evidence is admissible. Your lawyer could also question the prosecutor’s conduct. For example, they may protest against the prosecutor not providing specific evidence. In some cases, your lawyer may also argue that the judge was mistaken at the sentencing hearing. Generally, your lawyer will aim to address the process used to arrive at the court’s ruling and whether someone involved in this process made a mistake resulting in an unfair ruling.

If you have been indicted for public corruption, it is advisable that you hire legal assistance. Public corruption cases carry significant penalties that could see you spend time behind bars and a lot of money in fines. Not only will your Hobbs Act federal appeal lawyers advice you on the legal options that apply to your case, they will also represent you in court, and ensure you get a fair judgment.

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