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New York Penal Law § 180.08: Commercial bribe receiving in the first degree

Bribery is the crime of giving or accepting money or something else of value in order to influence action. Bribery is often associated with public officials. However, it also occurs in other areas such as in private business. There are several bribery offenses in the New York criminal code ranging from misdemeanors to serious felonies. Some offenses are related to offering a bribe and others are related to accepting a bribe. 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 § 180.08, you would have committed commercial bribe receiving in the first degree if you do the following without your employer's consent:

  1. You solicit, accept, or agree to accept something of value from another person, and
  2. You confer some sort of benefit to that person in relation to your employer's affairs.

In addition,

  1. The value of the thing you solicited, accepted or agreed accept is more than $1000, and
  2. The value of the detriment to your employer's business is more than $250.
Example

Bruce is a materials supplier. His materials are the same quality as his competitors, but Bruce charges about 10% more. Reed is the buyer for a manufacturer. Bruce offers to give Reed a $5,000 "contribution" to Reed's daughter's college fund if Reed awards him a $50,000 contract to buy materials from him at his asking price of 10% more than his competitors. Reed accepts the $5000 and awards the contract to Bruce. Reed could be prosecuted for commercial bribe receiving in the first degree and Bruce could be prosecuted for commercial bribery in the first degree.

Related Offenses
  1. Commercial bribing in the first degree: New York Penal Law § 180.03
  2. Bribe receiving by a labor official: New York Penal Law § 180.25
  3. Sports bribe receiving: New York Penal Law § 180.45
Defenses

Commercial bribe receiving requires that you accept something of value and in return you influence the employee's actions to benefit the person who gave you the thing of value. If you accepted the thing of value for a reason other than to influence your employer, then you would not be guilty of commercial bribe receiving.

In addition, to successfully prosecute you the prosecutor must be able to prove that the value of the benefit you allegedly received was more than $1000 and the detriment to your employer was more than $250. Otherwise you would not be guilty of commercial bribe receiving in the first degree.

Sentence

Commercial bribe receiving 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 § 180.08: Commercial bribe receiving in the first degree

An employee, agent or fiduciary is guilty of commercial bribe receiving in the first degree when, without the consent of his employer or principal, he solicits, accepts or agrees to accept any benefit from another person upon an agreement or understanding that such benefit will influence his conduct in relation to his employer's or principal's affairs, and when the value of the benefit solicited, accepted or agreed to be accepted 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 or a loved one is under investigation for commercial bribe receiving in the first degree, it is critical to immediately consult with an experienced attorney. If you are convicted part of your sentence could include up to 4 years in prison. 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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