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Public Trust Crime


Public trust offenses are common in government offices of the United States. These offences threaten to pull down the economy of the United States. One form of this offence is bribery. Bribery is a form of corruption in which a person offers, receives, gives or solicits any valuable item in order to influence the motives or actions of any official or person in charge of public or legal duty (Nicholls, Daniel, Bacarese, & Hatchard, 2011).  A person mainly offers a bribe with the aim to influence the conduct and standing of a recipient. There are several forms of a bribe that include money, goods, property, right in action, privilege and emoluments. The United States has passed several laws to prevent any form of bribery in state institutions. The General Federal Bribery Statute punishes people who engage in any form of bribery in the United States (Heffernan & Kleinig, 2004). Furthermore, there are a few special bribery statutes that prohibit bribery of bank examiner, bribery of various banks, loan transactions and bribery linked with distribution and sale of alcoholic drinks.

There are several types of bribes. They include tips, favors, gifts and discounts. A tip is money given to a service worker for services that he/she has performed or anticipates to perform. It is illegal for the workers in the United States to receive tips. This is because it may influence their service delivery. A gift is the transfer of something valuable to another person without expecting the other person to pay you in return (Nicholls, Daniel, Bacarese, & Hatchard, 2011). It is illegal to give workers in the United States departments since it may influence their judgment. Favor is something done out of good will and it may be a form of bribe, since the official may feel that he owes the person who granted him a particular favor. A discount is a reduction in the normal price of a good or service. This can be viewed as a form of bribe when a one offers an official person in government department since the official person may feel a need to return the discount favor (Heffernan & Kleinig, 2004).

In the United States, the General Federal Bribery Statute imposes punishment for bribery offence. It states that whoever indirectly or directly proposes, promises or gives anything valuable to a public official with an intention of influencing his actions is liable to a fine. The value of the fine should not be over three times of the monetary value the person intended to bribe the official (Heffernan & Kleinig, 2004). Furthermore, the court may imprison him for around fifteen years. After engaging in any form of bribe, the court may disqualify this from occupying any office of trust, profit or honor under the U.S. Government. This statute punishes offences such as a person bribing public official with an intention of influencing his/her testimony after the oath before in a court of law or any committee (Heffernan & Kleinig, 2004). In addition to this, it punishes public officials that attempt to influence the execution of any official act. Anybody demanding bribery, so that in turn he can be influenced to testify under oath as a witness in a trial proceeding is also punished by this act. Furthermore, it punishes any person demanding bribery so that he can discharge or perform any public duty. There are several special statutes concerning bribery apart from the above mentioned statute (Heffernan & Kleinig, 2004). There are statutes prohibiting bribery incident to the appointment of a public office, bribery incidents to various bank and loan transactions and bribery in connection with the distribution and sale of alcoholic drinks.


In summary, it is evident that public trust offences are common in the public offices of the United States Government. An example of this type of offense is bribery that takes place when one  proposes indirectly or directly anything valuable to a public official person with the aim to influence his position. Bribery can take the form of money goods and emoluments. Several types of bribery include gifts, favors, discounts and tips. The General Federal Bribery Statute punishes bribery offenses in the United States.

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