The United States Criminal Code provides regulations governing the commission of an offense by any individual or state official. The crimes are divided into several categories, which include crimes committed by state officials, otherwise known as public corruption crimes. Receiving and soliciting a bribe by the Army corps is actionable in the criminal law system because the law prohibits any conduct that amounts to fraud.
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If there are two sets of persons who have committed an offense, then it is imperative to categorize them independently to help in identifying the actual party engaged in the commission of the offense and other parties who just aided in the commission of the crime. The law offers different punishments on cases of offenses committed and the person aiding the commission of the offense (Manion, 2004). The directly guilty parties are supposed to be charged under a distinct category of offenses.
For a party to be guilty of an offense, the elements of the guilty mind and the actual commission of the crime must be present. A party becomes guilty by having the two elements present in the set of facts that amount to a given offense. The presumption of innocence should be observed in charging the suspects, which means that all the suspects should be considered innocent unless proven guilty. Proof of guilt is the only measure that is used in holding a party guilty.
As mentioned above, every crime consists of the conduct of the accused, as well as the prohibitions by the law. This means that for every unlawful conduct, there should be a law that provides express prohibitions. A party cannot be held guilty unless the conduct conforms to the prohibition under the law. Fraud is a criminal, as well as a civil offense. Its standard of proof is beyond a balance of probabilities and below reasonable doubt (Manion, 2004).
The taking of bribes and paying the favored contractor is a fraud, which is actionable. The offense is designed to hold the party receiving, as well as the party offering the bribe guilty. The contractor’s and the engineers’ conduct are termed fraud under the United States Criminal Code.
The engineers and the contractors will be charged with fraud as they have both conspired to commit the crime. The unlawful behavior, in this case, is taking and giving bribes as they are both prohibited under the US Criminal Code. Criminal behavior as hinted above contains the men’s rea and the actus reus. The men’s rea in the given scenario is soliciting bribes, while the actus reus is the actual taking of the bribes (Crockett, 2007).
The managers of the engineering program, as well as the program director, should be charged with conspiracy to commit a crime. According to the facts in the case, the managers and the director are not the actual persons committing the crime, but they are benefiting directly. The payments to a subcontractor by the directors are unlawful.
The imperative point to note is that even though the managers did not expressly allow the payments, it was done within their knowledge and they failed to act. The most questionable fact that makes the behavior of the parties strictly criminal is the fact that the payments were made for indefinite deliveries. The facts further indicate that the quantity required was also indefinite compared to the services offered. The payment of the invoices went to defendant A, B, and the son of defendant A.
This conduct makes them the actual receivers of the bribes. The facts further show that the charged persons had a working plan to engage in a similar IT project to commit fraud. The fraudulent conduct, in this case, is the planning to commit the crime in the future. The statements in the set of facts have been structured in a way that works to benefit the subcontractor. The objectives are designed to benefit the subcontractor and to make it easier for the contractor to be selected by the board. This makes it clear that the plan is wholly designed to facilitate the commission of fraud.
The indictment of the officials is based on the fact that they took part in a bribe offense. The unlawful kickbacks by public officials are equally criminal before the law. The offenses, in this case, are designed to prohibit the actual commission of a crime and punish the conspirators. The conduct of the directors of the engineering firm amounts to a crime as they were aware of the actions of the defendants, but they did not do anything to stop the commission of the offense. However, the directors, in this case, may raise the defense of not being aware of the fraudulent transactions (Manion, 2004).
The withdrawal of the money belonging to the other people from their accounts amounts to guilty conduct, which is punishable. The illegal withdrawals were made from many of the multiple accounts and the suspected party made a confession that clearly showed the motive. The reason for withdrawing the money was to feed her drug habit. The detectives gathered evidence from the victims, who swore that they did not withdraw the money from the accounts.
The sworn evidence showed that the money that was withdrawn was obtained without authorization. The evidence on the surveillance cameras further showed that the victims did not visit the branch during the period of the questionable withdrawals. The immediate withdrawal made at the actual time when the detectives were having an interview also amounted to actionable conduct. A search in the car by the detectives revealed $650, which was the remainder after the $350 had been used.
The suspect admitted using the missing amount to buy pills (Loughman, Sibery, & Ernst & Young, 2012). The behavior, which amounts to the crime in the above set of facts, is based on the suspects’ confession. The confessions not only link the accused with the crime but also indicate the motive. The clear motive of withdrawing the money, in this case, was to buy pills.
The link between the behavior and the law is the reason why the accused has been charged with 2nd-degree fraud. The fraudulent withdrawals of the money without the permission of the victims are part of the conduct that is punishable under the law. The possession of oxycodone is an additional offense in her count.
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The most viable defense for the accused in this case is to claim that the need for the pills interfered with the correct functioning of her mind, thus she did not know what she was doing and she was not in control of the circumstances (Crockett, 2007).
Crockett, J. R. (2007). Hands in the till: Embezzlement of public monies in Mississippi. Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi.
Loughman, B. P., Sibery, R. A., & Ernst & Young. (2012). Bribery and corruption: Navigating the global risks. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
Manion, M. (2004). Corruption by design: Building clean government in mainland China and Hong Kong. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.