New York Penal Law § 180.03: Commercial bribing in the first degree

Bribery is the crime of giving or accepting money or something else of value in order to influence action. The term "bribing" refers to giving or offering to give something of value to another person, while the term "bribe receiving" refers to accepting the thing of value in exchange. There are several bribery offenses in the New York criminal code ranging from misdemeanors to class B felonies. If you are suspected of committing a bribery offense, the specific charge that you will face depends on several factors including whether or not you are a public official, the amount of money involved, and the action that the bribery was seeking to influence. Under New York Penal Law § 180.03, you could be charged with commercial bribing in the first degree if you confer or offer to confer any benefit on an employee without the consent of the employee's employer in order to influence the employee's work-related conduct. The benefit must exceed $1,000 and the bribe must result in economic harm to the employer in an amount that exceeds $250.

Example

Darryl is the VP of Purchasing for a textile manufacturer. Helen set up a meeting with Darryl to try to get him to purchase raw materials from her company. While Helen's company's materials were equal in quality to her competitors', Helen's prices were a little higher. In order to secure the deal, Helen offered Darryl the use of her company's vacation home as well as a few other expensive gifts for him and his family. Darryl agreed to purchase the material from Helen, even though buying from Helen's company cost Darryl's company $5,000 more. A few weeks later Darryl and his family were enjoying a weekend at Helen's company's vacation home. Darryl's wife was particularly excited about the free vacation because it would have otherwise cost well over $1000. Helen could be charged with commercial bribing in the first degree as she influenced Darryl's purchase decision by giving him gifts. Darryl also committed a crime by accepting Helen's bribe, and could be charged with commercial bribe receiving in the first degree under New York Penal Law § 180.08.

Related Offenses
  1. Commercial bribe receiving in the first degree: New York Penal Law § 180.08
  2. Bribing a labor official: New York Penal Law § 180.15
  3. Sports bribing: New York Penal Law § 180.40
Defenses

Commercial bribery is requires that you confer or offer to confer a benefit with the intent to influence the employee's actions. If you gave the employee a gift for an innocent reason, then you would have a valid defense to a charge of commercial bribing. In addition, in order to prosecute you for this crime the prosecutor must be able to prove that the benefit conferred to the employee had a value of over $1000 and the detriment to the company was over $250. If the prosecutor cannot prove the amount of money involved, then the prosecutor would have a difficult time proceeding with the case against you.

Sentence

Commercial bribing in the first degree is a class E felony. If you are convicted of this offense you could be sent to prison for up to 4 years. You could also receive a probation sentence of up to 5 years and be required to pay a fine.

New York Penal Law § 180.03: Commercial bribing in the first degree

A person is guilty of commercial bribing in the first degree when he confers, or offers or agrees to confer, any benefit upon any employee, agent or fiduciary without the consent of the latter's employer or principal, with intent to influence his conduct in relation to his employer's or principal's affairs, and when the value of the benefit conferred or offered or agreed to be conferred exceeds one thousand dollars and causes economic harm to the employer or principal in an amount exceeding two hundred fifty dollars.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

If you are being investigated for commercial bribing in the first degree, it is critical that you are represented by someone who has experience. The staff at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates has years of experience successfully defending clients in New York criminal courts who have been charged with misdemeanors and felonies such as bribery, assault, menacing, reckless endangerment, stalking, rape, and child endangerment. Contact us at 1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve those accused of larceny in the following locations: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County and Westchester County.

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