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NY Penal Law § 496.03: Corrupting the Government in the Third Degree

Sadly, corruption by public officials is not uncommon. It takes many forms. One type of corruption involves a public official devising a scheme to defraud the government of property or services. However, doing so is a crime called corrupting the government. There are 4 corrupting the government crimes in the New York criminal code. Corrupting the government in the first, second, third and fourth degrees. Each of these crimes is a felony.

Under New York Penal Law § 496.03 you could be charged with corrupting the government in the third degree if you are a public servant, or if you act in concert with a public servant, and you engage in a scheme with the intent to defraud the state or one or more political subdivisions of the state to obtain property, actual services or other resources from the state, or any political subdivision or governmental instrumentality of the state by false or fraudulent pretenses, representations or promises, and thereby wrongfully obtain such property, actual services or other resources with a value of over $1000 but not over $20,000.

Example

Donna was a clerk in a government office responsible for receiving payments for various fees required by New York State. On occasion when someone paid cash Donna would pocket the money. Before she was caught she pocketed approximately $3000. Donna was charged with corrupting the government in the third degree as well as other crimes related to theft.

Related Offenses
  1. Corrupting the government in the fourth degree: New York Penal Law § 496.02
  2. Corrupting the government in the second degree: New York Penal Law § 496.04
  3. Corrupting the government in the first degree: New York Penal Law § 496.05
Defenses

You are not guilty of corrupting the government in the third degree if the value of the property you received from the government was $1000 or less. If the prosecutor is unable to prove that you actually received property, services or resources in excess of $1000, then you will not be convicted. However, you could still be charged with corrupting the government in the third degree.

Even if you participated in a scheme with a goal toward obtaining property, services or resources from the government, you would not be guilty of corrupting the government in the fourth degree if you did not actually obtain such property, services or resources.

Sentence

Corrupting the government in the third degree is a class D felony. This means that if you are convicted your sentence could include a prison term of up to 7 years, a probation term of 5 years, payment of restitution and payment of a fine.

New York Penal Law § 496.03: Corrupting the Government in the Third Degree

A person is guilty of corrupting the government in the third degree when, being a public servant, or acting in concert with a public servant, he or she engages in a scheme constituting a systematic ongoing course of conduct with intent to defraud the state or one or more political subdivisions of the state or one or more governmental instrumentalities within the state to obtain property, actual services or other resources, or obtain property, actual services or other resources from the state, or any political subdivision or governmental instrumentality of the state by false or fraudulent pretenses, representations or promises, and thereby wrongfully obtains such property, actual services or other resources with a value in excess of one thousand dollars.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

Corrupting the government in the third degree is a serious crime. The penalty for committing this crime is that you could be sent to prison for up to 7 years. If you are under investigation for committing this crime it is important that you are represented by someone with experience to ensure that your rights are protected. 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 crimes related to corrupting the government as well as grand larceny, embezzlement, and other white collar crimes. Contact us at 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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