Sec 641.3 of the California Penal Code penalizes the crime of commercial bribery. This crime is committed when an employee, with intent to injure or defraud, solicits or accepts or agrees to accept money or any item of value greater than $250 from someone other than their employer without the knowledge or consent of the employer in return for use of their position in the company for the benefit of the bribe giver.
Like all bribery crimes, both offeror and recipient are liable under the crime. The reason for this crime is that the employees are in a fiduciary position with an ethical duty to act for the benefit of their employers. When they receive any form of benefit in exchange for a business decision that may end up hurting their employer, they become liable under this crime.
There are specific defenses to this crime. This includes the absence of corrupt intent to injure or defraud your employer or some other employer.
The applicable penalties for this crime depend on the circumstances of the case and criminal history of the accused. This determines the classification of the crime as either a felony or misdemeanor offense. When the bribe amounts to less than $1,000, the penalty of up to one year in county jail is imposable. When the bribe amounts to over $1,000, then the accused can be imprisoned in either county jail or state prison for up to three years.
The crime of commercial bribery is a serious offense in California. Should you be or know anyone facing any of these charges, do reach out to the lawyers at the Law Offices of Ramiro J. Lluis for a free consultation today.