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When Is A Criminal Offense A Federal Crime

Interviewer:   Can you give us several possible scenarios of federal crimes?

Public Corruption, Which Includes A Public Official Using Their Position to Further a Criminal Act, Is a Federal Crime

David:   Federal criminal statutes cover a great variety of crimes. Public corruption is one such category of crimes. Public corruption offenses are crimes committed by public officials, where they essentially use their position in public service to further the crime. When I worked as a Special Agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, I was assigned to a Public Corruption Unit in Miami, Florida.

As an example, during my service as a Special Agent, I had occasion to investigate an ongoing bank fraud that was being committed by local law enforcement officers. In a different case, I investigated a probation officer who had been taking bribes from probationers he was supervising. Another common example of a public corruption offense would be a politician that is giving special favors to certain constituents who have offered the politician bribes or kickbacks. For example, it is a crime for a politician to award a contract to a company and, in return, received a kickback from the recipient of the contract. Those sorts of offenses would fall under the category of public corruption.

Medicaid and Medicare Fraud Are Federal Crimes

Health care fraud is a huge area of federal involvement. There is a great deal of fraud that occurs in relation to the Medicaid and Medicare programs. For example, there are some unscrupulous healthcare clinics that claim to give services, but not actually provide them.

Possession or Distribution of Child Pornography Can Constitute Federal Crimes

Federal law enforcement is heavily involved in the investigation of the possession and distribution of child pornography. This area of criminal activity is prolific.

Drug Trafficking

One of the largest areas of federal involvement in criminal activity involves the illegal trafficking of narcotics such as cocaine and heroin. A large number of federal cases are created in that area.

There is a wide variety of federal crimes. The categories are growing all the time. There is no shortage of new laws.

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