Criminal Law

Offenses Involving Public Officials and Violations of Federal Election Campaign Laws

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§2C1.2GUIDELINES MANUALNovember 1, 2005

(Obstruction of Justice), as appropriate, will apply if the result is greater than that determined above. For example, if a bribe was given for the purpose of concealing the offense of espionage, the guideline for accessory after the fact to espionage would be applied.

Under §2C1.1(c)(3), if the offense involved forcible extortion, the guideline from §2B3.2 (Extortion by Force or Threat of Injury or Serious Damage) will apply if the result is greater than that determined above.

Section 2C1.1 also applies to offenses under 15 U.S.C. §§ 78dd-1, 78dd-2, and 78dd-3. Such offenses generally involve a payment to a foreign public official, candidate for public office, or agent or intermediary, with the intent to influence an official act or decision of a foreign government or political party. Typically, a case prosecuted under these provisions will involve an intent to influence governmental action.

Section 2C1.1 also applies to fraud involving the deprivation of the intangible right to honest services of government officials under 18 U.S.C. §§ 1341-1343 and conspiracy to defraud by interference with governmental functions under 18 U.S.C. § 371. Such fraud offenses typically involve an improper use of government influence that harms the operation of government in a manner similar to bribery offenses.

Offenses involving attempted bribery are frequently not completed because the offense is reported to authorities or an individual involved in the offense is acting in an undercover capacity. Failure to complete the offense does not lessen the defendant’s culpability in attempting to use public position for personal gain. Therefore, solicitations and attempts are treated as equivalent to the underlying offense.

Historical Note:: Effective November 1, 1987. Amended effective January 15, 1988 (see Appendix C, amendment 18); November 1, 1989 (see Appendix C, amendments 120-122); November 1, 1991 (see Appendix C, amendments 367 and 422); November 1, 1997 (see Appendix C, amendment 547); November 1, 2001 (see Appendix C, amendment 617); November 1, 2002 (see Appendix C, amendment 639); November 1, 2003 (see Appendix C, amendment 653); November 1, 2004 (see Appendix C, amendment 666).

§2C1.2. Offering, Giving, Soliciting, or Receiving a Gratuity

(a) Base Offense Level:

(1) 11, if the defendant was a public official; or

(2) 9, otherwise.

(b) Specific Offense Characteristics

(1) If the offense involved more than one gratuity, increase by 2 levels.

(2) If the value of the gratuity exceeded $5,000, increase by the number of levels from the table in §2B1.1 (Theft, Property Destruction, and Fraud) corresponding to that amount.

(3) If the offense involved an elected public official or any public official in a high-level decision-making or sensitive position, increase by 4 levels. If the resulting offense level is less than level 15, increase to level 15.

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