Illegal Gratuity Law and Legal Definition
Illegal gratuity is something of value that a person gives offers or promises for the purpose of influencing the action of an official in the discharge of his or her public or legal duties. For example, it is an offence to improperly influence judges or other judicial officers, members and officers of public bodies, or voters at public elections.
The statutory index of the Sentencing Guidelines, which specifies which Guidelines apply to various criminal statutes, lists both U.S.S.G. § 2C1.1 (bribes) and § 2C1.2 (gratuities) as applicable to violations of 18 U.S.C. § 666(a)(1)(B) [18 U.S.C. § 666(a)(1)(B):corruptly solicits or demands for the benefit of any person, or accepts or agrees to accept, anything of value from any person, intending to be influenced or rewarded in connection with any business, transaction, or series of transactions of such organization, government, or agency involving any thing of value of $ 5,000 or more].
The distinction between a bribe and an illegal gratuity is the corrupt intent of the person giving the bribe to receive a quid pro quo, something that the recipient would not otherwise have done. [United States v. Griffin, 154 F.3d 762, 763 (8th Cir. Mo. 1998)]