The Nevada crime of commercial bribery is when a company employee is offered or accepts money (or any other benefit) in exchange for making a business decision without permission or involvement of the boss. As a misdemeanor, commercial bribery carries up to six months in jail and/or up to a one thousand dollar fine.
The full text of the statute reads:
NRS 207.295. Commercial bribery.
Any person who, with corrupt intent:
1. Offers, confers or agrees to confer any benefit upon any employee, agent or fiduciary without the consent of the employer or principal of that employee, agent or fiduciary in order to influence adversely that person’s conduct in relation to the commercial affairs of his or her employer or principal; or
2. While an employee, agent or fiduciary, solicits, accepts or agrees to accept any benefit from another person upon an agreement or understanding that the benefit will influence adversely his or her conduct in relation to the commercial affairs of his or her employer or principal,
commits commercial bribery and is guilty of a misdemeanor.
In this article, our Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys discuss:
- 1. What is commercial bribery in Nevada?
- 2. What are the defenses to NRS 207.295 charges?
- 3. Can I go to jail for commercial bribery?
- 4. Other bribery offenses
1. What is commercial bribery in Nevada?
Commercial bribery occurs when a company employee or agent solicits or accepts benefits (such as money) in exchange for influencing the company’s business decisions.
Example: Paul works as a lower-level employee at an automotive magazine that ranks cars. A representative from a vehicle manufacturer offers Paul $10,000 to make sure the magazine chooses their sedans as the best family cars of the year. The vehicle manufacturer is guilty of commercial bribery for making the offer, and Paul would be guilty of commercial bribery if he accepts it.
Nevada commercial bribery law grew out of the notion that employees are ethically obligated to behave loyally to their employers. Charges can be brought against both the third party who participates in a bribe and the employee/agent who accepts or asks for the bribe.1
Note that commercial bribery is different from extortion (NRS 205.320). Extortion carries more serious penalties because it involves threatening someone with harm in exchange for a favor.
2. What are the defenses to NRS 207.295 charges?
Here at Las Vegas Defense Group, we have represented literally thousands of people charged with white-collar crimes such as commercial bribery. In our experience, three defenses that are very effective with judges, juries, and prosecutors are:
- You did not intentionally offer or accept a bribe. Perhaps you thought the payment was for something unrelated to the company.
- You were acting with the consent of your boss or other company head. As long as you had legal authorization from someone in the company with decision-making powers, no commercial bribery occurred.
- You were falsely accused. Perhaps someone was trying to get you into trouble out of revenge, anger, or a misunderstanding.
3. Can I go to jail for commercial bribery?
Potentially. As a misdemeanor, commercial bribery carries up to six months in jail and/or up to $1,000 in fines.2 Though even if you get off with just paying a fine, having a commercial bribery conviction can severely impede your future employment opportunities.
4. Other bribery offenses
Commercial bribery is the least serious kind of bribery crime in Nevada. Click on the links below to learn about the others:
- Sports Bribery
- Bribery of/by Judges or Jurors
- Bribery of/by Public Officials
- Bribery of/by Witnesses
- NRS 207.295.