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Understanding Federal Corruption Charges

Overview of Federal Corruption

Federal corruption charges in California encompass a variety of offenses involving the misuse of public power for illicit personal gain. These charges are typically brought by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the relevant district in California and target acts that violate federal law, not just state statutes.

Common federal corruption charges include bribery of public officials, where an individual offers something of value in exchange for a favorable official act. While bribery and kickbacks are offenses commonly linked to corruption, public corruption can also involve committing the following offenses:

  • Blackmail
  • Illegal lobbying
  • Extortion
  • Collusion
  • Bid ridding
  • Influence-peddling

Fraudulent schemes involving government programs or contracts also fall under this umbrella. Additionally, misusing one's position to deprive citizens of their civil rights can incur federal charges.

The penalties for federal corruption charges can be severe, including significant prison time and hefty fines. These charges aim to uphold the integrity of government institutions and deter public officials from abusing their authority.

California Officers Arrested in Corruption Investigation

In 2023, authorities charged ten current or former police officers from two Northern California departments in a federal corruption investigation. The charges stem from a range of allegations, including engaging in fraudulent activities to increase their pay and violating the civil rights of residents.

These charges were brought against officers from the police departments in Antioch and Pittsburg, both located in the San Francisco Bay Area. The specific allegations include accusations against Antioch police officers Morteza Amiri, Eric Allen Rombough, and Devon Christopher Wenger for conspiring between February 2019 and March 2022 to oppress, threaten, and intimidate residents of Antioch.

The charges against them involve conspiracy against rights and deprivation of rights under color of law. Additionally, Amiri faces a charge of destruction, alteration, or falsification of records in a federal investigation, and six officers from both departments were charged with wire fraud for falsely claiming to have taken college courses to enhance their pay. Two Antioch officers faced charges related to distributing anabolic steroids, while another Antioch officer was charged with obstructing the federal investigation.

The indictment also highlighted instances of racist text messages sent by the officers, as well as incidents where excessive force was used against the suspects followed by the falsification of reports to justify their actions. These actions not only violated the trust placed in law enforcement but also breached the fundamental rights of the community they were sworn to protect.

While many charges were levied against the officers, take note of the fact they tried to intimidate and threaten residents and tried to increase their pay. This is a clear violation of their duties and abuse of power, and a key element with corruption charges is that an official abuses their office of position.

Benefit from Our Counsel

Our team of seasoned attorneys is dedicated to providing a vigorous defense for our clients, leveraging our extensive knowledge and experience in federal law to protect your rights and reputation. We have over a century of collective experience and have helped countless clients navigate their defense cases.

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