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New York Penal Law § 496.04: Corrupting the Government in the Second Degree

It goes without saying that it is against the law for a public official to defraud the government of its resources. If you do, then you would have committed a crime called corrupting the government. There are 4 corrupting the government crimes in the New York criminal code. The specific charge that you will face depends on the amount of money that you received from the scheme. Under New York Penal Law § 496.04 you could be charged with corrupting the government in the second 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 $20,000 but not over $100,000.

Example

Gary is a public official. In his capacity as a public official he regularly authorizes payments for repair work and renovations of government property. Gary hired the same contractor that he hires to perform work on government buildings to complete renovations to his home. When the bills arrived, he directed that they be paid from government funds just like the others bills for work completed on government buildings. The total amount for work on Gary's home was $50,000. Gary could be prosecuted for corrupting the government in the second degree in violation of New York Penal Law § 496.04 since he defrauded the government of $50,000.

Related Offenses
  1. Corrupting the government in the fourth degree: New York Penal Law § 496.02
  2. Corrupting the government in the third degree: New York Penal Law § 496.03
  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 second degree if the value of the property you received from the government was $50,000 or less. If the prosecutor is unable to prove that you actually received property, services or resources in excess of $50,000, then you will not be convicted. However, you could still be charged with corrupting the government in the third or fourth 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 second degree if you did not actually obtain such property, services or resources.

Sentence

Corrupting the government in the second degree is a class C felony. This means that if you are convicted your sentence could include a prison term of up to 15 years, a probation term of 5 years, payment of restitution and payment of a fine.

New York Penal Law § 496.04: Corrupting the Government in the Second Degree

A person is guilty of corrupting the government in the second 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 twenty thousand dollars.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

Corrupting the government in the second degree is a serious crime. The penalty for committing this crime is that you could be sent to prison for up to 15 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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