Corruption and Bribery

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Corruption

and

Bribery

April 2010

Definitions

Bribery is a white collar crime in which money, a favor or something else of value is promised to, given to, or taken from an individual or corporation in an attempt to sway his or its views, opinions, or decisions.

Corruption – is the use of public’s delegated power in personal or close standing people interest in order to get personal benefit.

Types of Bribery

Bribery of a Public Official. Any public official (anyone acting in interests of a country, for example president, vice president, juror etc.) who demands, receives, or accepts a bribe in exchange for making an illegal change in his duties will be fined up to three times the value of the incentive and/or imprisoned for no more than 15 years. The public official may also be prohibited from holding any political or government office in the United States.

Bribery of a Witness. Conversely, anyone who offers a bribe to a witness will be fined and/or imprisoned for up to two years. Any witness who demands, receives, or accepts a bribe in exchange for altered testimony faces a fine of three times the value of the bribe and/or up to 15 years in prison, while anyone who bribes a witness faces a fine and/or up to two years in prison.

Bribery of a Foreign Official. In 1977, The U.S. Congress accepted The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which made it illegal for an American corporation to bribe a foreign government official with money or gifts in hopes of landing or maintaining important business contacts. According to the act, all publicly traded companies must keep records of all business transactions—even if the companies do not trade internationally—to ensure that this act is not being violated. However, in the act, there are loopholes of which many U.S. corporations take advantage. For example, the act permits “grease payments”, which are incentives paid—without penalty—to foreign officials to help expedite the completion of paperwork and to ensure the receipt of licenses or permits.

Bank Bribery. According to the Bank Bribery Amendments Act of 1985, 1) the solicitation of an employee, director, etc. in any capacity in exchange for business and 2) the acceptance of anything (including meals, entertainment, and accommodations during travel) but a legitimate salary, wages and fees from anyone in connection with the bank’s business are prohibited. If any representative of a bank accepts a bribe, he will be fined three times the value of the incentive, or he will be imprisoned for up to thirty years. However, if the value of the bribe is less than $1,000, the representative will be fined but sentenced to not more than one year in jail. If a bank official is offered a bribe, he must disclose all information to the bank so that the situation may be addressed appropriately.

Bribery in Sporting Contests. A sporting official who accepts a bribe in exchange for a promise to “fix” a sporting event is guilty of bribery and may be punished according to laws of a particular country. For example, if a referee is convicted of “throwing” a major sporting event, he will be fined, imprisoned for up to five years, or both.

Negative effects of bribery

1. Bribery corrupts the capitalist economic system. The capitalist system is based on competition in an open and free market, where people tend to buy the best product at the best price. Bribery corrupts the free-market mechanism by getting people to make purchases that do not reward the most efficient producer.

2. Bribery is a sell-out to the rich. In any situation ruled only by money, the deeper pocket will prevail. If bribery were universally practiced, expert testimony, justice in the courts, and everything else would be up for sale to the highest bidder.

3. Bribery produces cynicism and a general distrust of institutions. It destroys people's trust in the integrity of professional services, of government and the courts, of law...
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