List of United States federal officials convicted of corruption offenses

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This list only includes federal officials convicted of certain select corruption crimes. For a more complete list see: List of American federal politicians convicted of crimes and List of federal political scandals in the United States.

Dozens of high-level United States federal officials have been convicted of public corruption offenses for conduct while in office. These officials have been convicted under two types of statutes. The first type are also applicable to corrupt state and local officials:[1] the mail and wire fraud statutes (enacted 1872), including the honest services fraud provision,[2] the Hobbs Act (enacted 1934),[3] the Travel Act (enacted 1961),[4] and the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) (enacted 1970).[1][5] In addition, federal officials are subject to the federal bribery, graft, and conflict-of-interest crimes contained in Title 18, Chapter 11 of the United States Code, 18 U.S.C. §§ 201–227, which do not apply to state and local officials.[1] Most notably, § 201(b) prohibits the receipt of bribes, and § 201(c) prohibits the receipt of unlawful gratuities, by federal public officials. Lesser used statutes include conspiracy to defraud the United States (enacted 1867)[6] and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) (enacted 1977).[7]

Where the defendant is a member of the United States Congress, the Speech or Debate Clause of Article One of the United States Constitution—providing that: "[F]or any Speech or Debate in either House, [Senators or Representatives] shall not be questioned in any other Place"[8]—limits the acts which may be charged and the evidence that may be introduced.

Inclusion criteria and organization[edit]

Only high-level federal officials are included in this list. For the executive branch, this means the President, Vice President, and Cabinet members (i.e. officials compensated at Level I of the Executive Schedule).[9] For the legislative branch, this means members of the Congress, whether the Senate or House of Representatives. For the judicial branch, this means Article Three judges. Lower-level officials are not included on this list, although they may be prosecuted for the same offenses.

Acquitted officials are not listed (if an official was acquitted on some counts, and convicted on others, the counts of conviction are listed). If a defendant is convicted of a conspiracy to commit a corruption offense, the substantive offense is listed. Convictions such as making false statements, perjury, obstruction of justice, electoral fraud, violations of campaign finance regulations, tax evasion and money laundering are not included in this list. Censure, impeachment, and removal from office are also not included in this list.

The list is organized by office. The criminal statute(s) under which the conviction(s) were obtained are noted, as are the names of notable investigations, scandals, or litigation, if applicable. The year of conviction is included (if the official was convicted multiple times due to retrials, only the year of the first conviction is included). Certain details, including post-conviction relief, if applicable, are included in footnotes. Political affiliation is also included.

List[edit]

Official Image Office State Year Crime(s) Scandal/investigation/case Notes Party
Robert Archbald Judge United States 1913 Bribery [10] Republican
Daniel Brewster Danielbrewster.jpg Senate Maryland 1972 Federal official gratuity United States v. Brewster (1972) [11] Democrat
Joseph R. Burton Joseph Ralph Burton.jpg Senate Kansas 1904 Compensated representation in a proceeding in which the United States is interested (Rev. Stat. § 1782) (codified as amended at 18 U.S.C. § 203) Burton v. United States (1905, 1906) [12] Republican
Frank Ballance Frank Ballance.jpg House of Representatives North Carolina 2004 Mail fraud [13] Democrat
Mario Biaggi Mario Biaggi.jpg House of Representatives New York 1987 Federal official gratuity and Travel Act [14]
1988 Federal official bribery and gratuity, mail fraud, Hobbs Act, and RICO Wedtech scandal [15] Democrat
Frank W. Boykin House of Representatives Alabama 1963 Federal official conflict-of-interest and conspiracy to defraud the United States [16] Democrat
Ernest K. Bramblett House of Representatives California 1954 Payroll fraud to cover kickbacks [17] Republican
Frank J. Brasco Frank Brasco.jpg House of Representatives New York 1974 Conspiracy to defraud the United States [18] Democrat
Albert Bustamante AlbertBustamante.jpg House of Representatives Texas 1993 Federal official gratuity and RICO [19] Democrat
Alexander Caldwell Senator Kansas 1873 Bribery [20] Republican
Thomas Carney Senator Kansas 1873 Bribery [20] Republican
Frank M. Clark House of Representatives Pennsylvania 1979 Mail fraud [21] Democrat
Robert Frederick Collins United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana Louisiana 1991 Federal official bribery and conspiracy to defraud the United States [22] N/A
Duke Cunningham Duke Cunningham.jpg House of Representatives California 2006 Mail fraud and federal official bribery Cunningham scandal [23] Republican
Charles Diggs Charles C. Diggs.jpg House of Representatives Michigan 1980 Mail fraud [24] Democrat
David Durenberger House of Representatives Minnesota 1965 Misuse of Public Funds [25][26] Republican
John Dowdy House of Representatives Texas 1971 Federal official conflict-of-interest and Travel Act [27] Democrat
Joshua Eilberg House of Representatives Pennsylvania 1979 Federal official conflict-of-interest [28] Democrat
Albert B. Fall Albert B. Fall.jpg Secretary of the Interior N/A 1929 Revolving door (18 U.S.C. § 207) Teapot Dome scandal [29] Republican
Robert García Rep. García House of Representatives New York 1989 Hobbs Act Wedtech scandal [30] Democrat
Richard T. Hanna House of Representatives California 1978 Conspiracy to defraud the United States Koreagate [31] Democrat
James F. Hastings House of Representatives New York 1976 Mail fraud [32] Republican
Andrew J. Hinshaw House of Representatives California 2008 Bribery [33] Republican
John H. Hoeppel House of Representatives California 1935 Sale of appointive office (18 U.S.C. § 150) (currently codified at 18 U.S.C. § 211) [34] Democrat
William J. Jefferson William Jefferson, official photo.jpg House of Representatives Louisiana 2009 Federal official bribery, wire fraud, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and RICO William J. Jefferson corruption case [35] Democrat
John Jenrette House of Representatives South Carolina 1980 Federal official bribery Abscam [36] Democrat
Thomas Francis Johnson House of Representatives Maryland 1963 Federal official conflict-of-interest and conspiracy to defraud the United States United States v. Johnson (1966) [37] Democrat
Richard Kelly Congressman Richard Kelly.jpg House of Representatives Florida 1981 Federal official bribery, conspiracy to defraud the United States, and Travel Act Abscam [38] Republican
Joseph P. Kolter House of Representatives Pennsylvania 1996 Conspiracy to defraud the United States Congressional Post Office scandal [39] Democrat
Raymond F. Lederer House of Representatives Pennsylvania 1981 Federal official bribery and gratuity, conspiracy to defraud the United States, and Travel Act Abscam [40] Democrat
William Lorimer Senator Illinois 1912 Bribery [41] Republican
Buz Lukens Buzlukens.jpg House of Representatives Ohio 1996 Federal official bribery House banking scandal [42] Republican
Martin Thomas Manton Martin Thomas Manton (1915).png United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit N/A 1939 Conspiracy to defraud the United States [43] N/A
Nicholas Mavroules MavroulesNicholas.jpg House of Representatives Massachusetts 1993 Hobbs Act and RICO [44] Democrat
Andrew J. May Andrew J. May cropped.jpg House of Representatives Kentucky 1947 Conspiracy to defraud the United States and compensated representation in a proceeding in which the United States is interested (18 U.S.C. § 203) [45] Democrat
John H. Mitchell John H. Mitchell - Brady-Handy.jpg Senate Oregon 1905 Compensated representation in a proceeding in which the United States is interested (Rev. Stat. § 1782) (codified as amended at 18 U.S.C. § 203) Oregon land fraud scandal [46] Republican
John M. Murphy House of Representatives New York 1980 Federal official gratuity, federal official conflict-of interest, and conspiracy to defraud the United States Abscam [47] Democrat
Michael Myers House of Representatives Pennsylvania 1980 Federal official bribery, conspiracy to defraud the United States, and Travel Act Abscam [40] Democrat
Bob Ney Bob Ney.jpg House of Representatives Ohio 2006 Mail fraud Jack Abramoff CNMI scandal [48] Republican
Nehemiah G. Ordway US Governor of Dakota Territory Dakota Territory 1884 Bribery [49] Republican
Bertram L. Podell House of Representatives New York 1974 Federal official conflict-of-interest and conspiracy to defraud the United States [50] Democrat
Halsted Ritter District Judge Florida 1936 Bribery [51] Republican
Dan Rostenkowski Rosty.jpg House of Representatives Illinois 1998 Mail fraud Congressional Post Office scandal [52] Democrat
Frank Thompson Frank Thompson.jpg House of Representatives New Jersey 1980 Federal official bribery and gratuity and conspiracy to defraud the United States Abscam [40] Democrat
James Traficant James Traficant.jpg House of Representatives Ohio 2002 Federal official bribery and gratuity, conspiracy to defraud the United States, and RICO [53] Democrat
J. Irving Whalley House of Representatives Pennsylvania 1973 Mail fraud [54] Republican
Harrison A. Williams Harrison Williams(D-NJ).jpg Senate New Jersey 1981 Federal official bribery and gratuity, federal official conflict-of-interest, Travel Act, and conspiracy to defraud the United States Abscam [55] Democrat

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Peter W. Schroth, Corruption and Accountability of the Civil Service in the United States, 42 Am. J. Comp. L. 554 (2006).
  2. ^ 18 U.S.C. §§ 1341, 1343, 1346.
  3. ^ 18 U.S.C. § 1951(a), (b)(2).
  4. ^ 18 U.S.C. § 1952.
  5. ^ 18 U.S.C. § 1961(1).
  6. ^ Act of Mar. 2, 1867, ch. 169, § 30, 14 Stat. 484 (codified as amended at 18 U.S.C. § 371).
  7. ^ Pub. L. No. 95-213, 91 Stat. 1495.
  8. ^ U.S. Const. art. I, § 6, cl. 1.
  9. ^ 5 U.S.C. § 5312.
  10. ^ [1]
  11. ^ In a pre-trial appeal, the Supreme Court rejected Brewster's argument that his prosecution violated the Speech or Debate Clause. United States v. Brewster, 408 U.S. 501 (1972). After his trial, the D.C. Circuit reversed Brewster's conviction and remanded for a new trial. United States v. Brewster, 506 F.2d 62 (D.C. Cir. 1974). Brewster then plead no contest. Daniel B. Brewster, 83, Former Senator, Dies, N.Y. Times, Aug. 27, 2007.
  12. ^ The Supreme Court reversed Burton's conviction and remanded for a new trial, citing violations of the Venue and Vicinage Clauses and prejudicially refused jury instructions. Burton v. United States, 196 U.S. 283 (1905). Following a retrial, Burton's conviction was affirmed. Burton v. United States, 202 U.S. 344 (1906).
  13. ^ Ballance plead guilty. N.C.'s Ballance Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy, Wash. Post, Nov. 10, 2004.
  14. ^ United States v. Biaggi, 853 F.2d 89 (2d Cir. 1988).
  15. ^ United States v. Biaggi, 909 F.2d 662 (2d Cir. 1990).
  16. ^ President Johnson pardoned Boykin. Johnson Grants Frank Boykin a Full Pardon, The Tuscaloosa News, Dec. 22, 1965.
  17. ^ [2]
  18. ^ United States v. Brasco, 516 F.2d 816 (2d Cir. 1975).
  19. ^ United States v. Bustamante, 45 F.3d 933 (5th Cir. 1995).
  20. ^ a b [3]
  21. ^ Clark plead guilty. Fritz Huysman, Former Legislator Makes Surprise Guilty Plea, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Feb. 14, 1979.
  22. ^ United States v. Collins, 972 F.2d 1385 (5th Cir. 1992).
  23. ^ Cunningham plead guilty. Crooked Congressman Goes to Prison, CNN, Mar. 3, 2006.
  24. ^ United States v. Diggs, 613 F.2d 988 (D.C. Cir. 1979).
  25. ^ [4]
  26. ^ [5]
  27. ^ The Fourth Circuit reversed Dowdy's convictions for violations of the Speech or Debate Clause. United States v. Dowdy, 479 F.2d 213 (4th Cir. 1973).
  28. ^ Eilberg plead guilty. Former U.S. Rep. Eilberg Pleads Guilty to Conflict, The Tuscaloosa News, Feb. 25, 1979.
  29. ^ Fall v. United States, 49 F.2d 506 (D.C. Cir. 1931).
  30. ^ After García's first trial, the Second Circuit reversed García's convictions and remanded for a new trial. United States v. Garcia, 907 F.2d 380 (2d Cir. 1990). After García's second trial, the Second Circuit again reversed and remanded for a new trial, this time in light of the Supreme Court's subsequent decision in McCormick v. United States, 500 U.S. 257 (1991). United States v. Garcia, 992 F.2d 409 (2d Cir. 1993). The government declined to prosecute García a third time. U.S. Will Not Retry Garcia in Extortion, N.Y. Times, Sept. 16, 1993.
  31. ^ Hanna plead guilty. Ed Rogers, Hanna Sentenced in Bribery Case, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Apr. 25, 1978.
  32. ^ Ex-Lawmaker Convicted of Fraud, St. Petersburg Times, Dec. 18, 1976.
  33. ^ [6]
  34. ^ Hoeppel v. United States, 85 F.2d 237 (D.C. Cir. 1936).
  35. ^ The Fourth Circuit vacated one of Jefferson's wire fraud convictions for improper venue. United States v. Jefferson, 674 F.3d 332 (4th Cir. 2012).
  36. ^ United States v. Jenrette, 744 F.2d 817 (D.C. Cir. 1984).
  37. ^ The Supreme Court reversed Johnson's conviction and remanded for a new trial on the grounds that the introduction of certain evidence violated the Speech or Debate Clause. United States v. Johnson, 383 U.S. 169 (1966). At his retrial, the conspiracy count was dismissed Johnson was convicted of the conflict-of-interest count only. United States v. Johnson, 419 F.2d 56 (4th Cir. 1969).
  38. ^ After the jury returned a verdict of guilty, the district judge granted Kelly's motion to dismiss the indictment on the grounds that the Abscam investigation was unconstitutional entrapment. The D.C. Circuit reversed, and reinstated the conviction. United States v. Kelly, 707 F.2d 1460 (D.C. Cir. 1983) (per curiam).
  39. ^ Kolter plead guilty. Justin Pritchard, From the House to the Big House, Mother Jones, Jan./Feb. 1998.
  40. ^ a b c United States v. Myers, 692 F.2d 823 (2d Cir. 1982).
  41. ^ [7]
  42. ^ United States v. Lukens, 114 F.3d 1220 (D.C. Cir. 1997).
  43. ^ United States v. Manton, 107 F.2d 834 (2d Cir. 1939).
  44. ^ Mavroules plead guilty. Ex-Congressman Pleads Guilty to 15 Racketeering, Extortion Charges, L.A. Times, Apr. 16, 1993.
  45. ^ May v. United States, 175 F.2d 994 (D.C. Cir. 1949).
  46. ^ Jerry A. O'Callaghan, Senator Mitchell and the Oregon Land Frauds, 1905, 21 Pac. Hist. Rev. 255 (1952).
  47. ^ The Second Circuit reversed Murphy's conflict-of-interest conviction. United States v. Myers, 692 F.2d 823 (2d Cir. 1982).
  48. ^ Ney plead guilty. Pub. Integrity Section, Criminal Division, U.S. Dep't of Justice, Report to Congress on the Activities and Operations of the Public Integrity Section for 2009, at 22.
  49. ^ [8]
  50. ^ Podell plead guilty. United States v. Podell, 519 F.2d 144 (2d Cir. 1975).
  51. ^ [9]
  52. ^ Rostenkowski plead guilty. David E. Rosenbaum, Rostenkowski Pleads Guilty To Mail Fraud, N.Y. Times, Apr. 10, 1998.
  53. ^ United States v. Traficant, 368 F.3d 646 (6th Cir. 2004).
  54. ^ Whalley plead guilty. Milton Jacques, Ex-Rep. Whalley Pleads Guilty to Mail Fraud, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Aug. 1, 1973.
  55. ^ United States v. Williams, 705 F.2d 603 (2d Cir. 1983).