For many business professionals, the temptation to bribe colleagues and bosses proves apparent. Hoping to receive more compensation, authority or special treatment for specific job promotions constitutes a legal criminal action in many respects.
If a court finds you guilty of bribery, you may subject yourself to serious consequences in Missouri. To avoid criminal charges, all company employees should avoid attempting to persuade colleagues by means of collateral, or you and your business entity could find yourselves in personal and company turmoil.
Bribery in Missouri
A person commits the crime of commercial bribery if he or she solicits, accepts or agrees to accept any benefit as consideration for knowingly violating the best interests of a business to which he or she is:
- An agent or employee of another
- A trustee, guardian or another fiduciary
- A professional adviser or informant
- A participant in the direction of the affairs of an incorporated or unincorporated association; or
- An arbitrator or other purportedly disinterested referee
Your punishments for a bribery charge
If a court charges you with commercial bribery, punishments prove serious. A bribery charge constitutes a class A misdemeanor in Missouri, and punishments include:
- Up to one year in prison and/or
- A fine up to $2,000
Avoiding a bribery charge
Though customary in other cultures, the United States has strict laws preventing the act of bribery among business professionals. To avoid bribery charges:
- Limit your generosity
- Avoid accepting gifts from insubordinates
- Let all employees know of your expectations with gifts
- Verify your records and document decisions
By ensuring that punishments are enforced, the United States holds the ability to make legally sound business decisions – in both large or small companies. As an employee, identifying the act of bribery and avoiding intentionally or unintentionally bribing proves essential. You may avoid serious criminal charges and save your organization from bad press.