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An Overview of Public Corruption Crimes

February 3, 2011, by The McKellar Law Firm, PLLC

Tennessee public corruption attorneys will often deal with cases involving a breach of public trust and/or abuse of one's position by federal, state, or local officials. To put it simply, a government official may violate federal law when he/she asks, demands, solicits, accepts, or agrees to receive anything of value in return for being influenced in the performance of his/her official duties. Public corruption cases can include bribery, extortion, embezzlement, illegal kickbacks, tax evasion, and money laundering.


The Federal Bureau of Investigation claims that public corruption cases are its "top priority." The FBI further claims that public corruption "impacts everything from how well our borders are secured and our neighborhoods verdicts handed down in the quality of our roads, schools, and other government services. And it takes a significant toll on our pocketbooks, wasting billions in tax dollars every year."

The Internal Revenue Service may also get involved in public corruption cases along with the FBI and local authorities. The IRS reports that it launched 88 public corruption investigations in 2010, with 61 of those cases resulting in indictments or informations. Of those 61 cases, 60 were convicted and 80% of those convicted were incarcerated. The average length of incarceration was 46 months.

Via an article on the FBI website, the agency claims to specifically be focusing on "corruption along our national borders; corrupt officials who take advantage of natural disasters or economic crises to divert some of the government's aid into their own pockets; and a myriad of officials who may personally benefit from the economic stimulus funding."