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Unformatted text preview: Governmental Crime
Part 1 White Collar Crime CRJU 491W Spring 2011
William C. Smith Some Basic Terms
Some Basic Terms Abuse of Power Frequently occurs when the state or its agents violate laws to accomplish an improper or prohibited objective or, more broadly, when the state assumes and exercises power it should not have. Use of governmental authority in apparent violation of protections afforded citizens under the Bill of Rights typically brings allegations of governmental abuse of power.
Allegations of abuse of power often emerge in times of national crisis as government seeks to exert control over factors, or persons, it deems threatening to public order or security. Corruption
Corruption Corruption The misuse of political office for material advantage, as well as acts undertaken for political advantage. Generally, corrupt acts are done with an intent to gain some advantage inconsistent with official duty and the rights of others. Corruption encompasses acts such as bribery, but it is a more comprehensive type of activity because an act may be corruptly done even though the advantage to be derived from the act does not involve receiving something of value that is offered by another. WASHINGTON — Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby,
was convicted Tuesday of lying and obstructing a leak investigation that reached into the highest
levels of the Bush administration.
Libby is the highest-ranking White House official to be convicted of a felony since the Iran-Contra
scandal of the mid-1980s. The case brought new attention to the Bush administration's muchscandal
criticized handling of weapons of mass destruction intelligence in the run-up to the Iraq war.
The verdict culminated a nearly four-year investigation into how CIA official Valerie Plame's name
was leaked to reporters in 2003. The trial revealed that top members of the administration were
eager to discredit Plame's husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, who accused the
administration of doctoring prewar intelligence on Iraq.
Libby, who was once Cheney's most trusted adviser and an assistant to President Bush, was
expressionless as the jury verdict was announced on the 10th day of deliberations. His wife, Harriet
Grant, choked out a sob and lowered her head.
Libby could face up to 25 years in prison when he is sentenced June 5 but under federal sentencing
guidelines is likely to face far less. Defense attorneys immediately promised to ask for a new trial or
appeal the conviction.
Cheney said late Tuesday he was disappointed with the verdict.
"I am saddened for Scooter and his family," Cheney said. "Scooter has served our nation tirelessly
and with great distinction through many years of public service."
Bribery Bribery The offering, giving, receiving, or soliciting of something of value for the purpose of influencing the action of a public official in the discharge of his or her public or legal duties.
Closely related to bribery is an offense known as “extortion.” In the context of governmental white collar crime, extortion may be seen a public official’s obtaining, or requesting, something of value through the threat of unfavorable government action if not provided. The Abscam Bribery Scandal
The Abscam Bribery Scandal The name "Abscam" is derived from the fictitious company the FBI set up, Abdul Enterprises, to lure various public officials into accepting bribes. The sting was executed using FBI agents posing as two fictitious sheiks seeking to bribe local, state and federal officials.
Much of the operation was directed by Melvin Weinberg, a convicted con artist, who was hired by the FBI for that purpose. It was the first major operation by the FBI to trap corrupt public officials. Six congressmen, Democrats John Jenrette of South Carolina, Raymond Lederer of Pennsylvania, Michael Myers of Pennsylvania, John Murphy of New York and Frank Thompson of New Jersey, and Republican Richard Kelly of Florida, and one senator, Democrat Harrison Williams of New Jersey, were convicted of bribery and conspiracy charges arising from the Abscam sting in 1981. Political Scandal
Political Scandal Political Scandal The exposure of violations of widely held norms and ideas of proper conduct by those in political office.
In a general sense, a political scandal comes about when government officials are accused of engaging in illegal, corrupt, or unethical practices with the result that political corruption is seen to exist. The Iran Contra Affair
The Iran Contra Affair The political scandal known as the Iran Contra affair that unfolded during Ronald Reagan’s second term threatened both his image and his administration. IranContra began as an effort to improve U.S.Iranian relations, but quickly deteriorated into an armsfor
hostages deal involving Hezbollah and the diversion of funds to Contra rebels in Nicaragua. No evidence linked President Reagan to the secret operations directly, but there was widespread speculation among the American people about his involvement. Several of his top aides were indicted, but all were later pardoned. Under the socalled “Boland Amendment,” the federal government was prohibited from providing military support "for the purpose of overthrowing the Government of Nicaragua." The amendment aimed to prevent CIA funding of rebels opposed to the Marxist Sandinista junta and to block Reagan administration support for the Contra rebels.
Oliver North, a Marine Lieutenant Colonel assigned to the National Security Council, and other senior U.S. officials, secretly facilitated the sale of arms to Iran, the subject of an arms embargo, and then arranged the transfer of proceeds from the sales to anticommunist Contra rebels in South America who were seeking to overthrow the communist government of Nicaragua. North was indicted in 1988 on sixteen felony North was indicted in 1988 on sixteen felony counts in relation to his activities while at the National Security Council and on May 4, 1989, was initially convicted of three: accepting an illegal gratuity, aiding and abetting in the obstruction of a congressional inquiry, and destruction of documents. He was sentenced on July 5, 1989, to a three
year suspended prison term, two years probation, $150,000 in fines, and 1,200 hours community service.
On July 20, 1990, with the help of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), North's convictions were vacated, after the appeals court found that witnesses in his trial might have been improperly affected by his immunized testimony before Congress. The Abramoff Scandal
The Abramoff Scandal A January 2006 plea deal between the Justice Department and Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff made public for the first time a widespread investigation into political corruption among lawmakers, other government officials and key lobbyists. On Jan. 3, 2006, Abramoff pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy, mail fraud and tax evasion related to defrauding four Native American tribes out of millions of dollars. He agreed to cooperate with federal prosecutors and admitted to providing numerous gifts, including campaign contributions, free meals and a golf trip to Scotland, to a congressman identified in press reports as Ohio Republican Bob Ney. On June 26, 2007 Griles was sentenced to a $30,000 fine and 10 months
imprisonment, with some harsh words from Judge Ellen Huvelle, who doubled his
prison sentence, telling the former second-ranking Interior Department official:
"Even now, you continue to minimize and try to excuse your conduct." ...
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This note was uploaded on 02/20/2012 for the course CRJU E491 taught by Professor Mr.smith during the Fall '11 term at South Carolina.
- Fall '11