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Criminal Jury Instructions

Criminal Jury Instructions Home

4.1-6  Receiving a Commercial Bribe -- § 53a-161

Revised to December 1, 2007

The defendant is charged [in count ___] with receiving a commercial bribe.  The statute defining this offense reads in pertinent part as follows: 

a[n] (employee / agent / fiduciary) is guilty of receiving a commercial bribe when, without consent of (his/her) (employer / principal) (he/she) (solicits / accepts / agrees to accept) any benefit from another person upon an agreement or understanding that such benefit will influence (his/her) conduct in relation to (his/her) (employer's / principal's) affairs.

For you to find the defendant guilty of this charge, the state must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:   

Element 1 - Employee/Agent/Fiduciary
The first element is that the defendant was (an employee / an agent / a fiduciary) of (an employer / a principal).

<Insert the applicable definitions:>

  • An "employee" means any person who has entered into or works under any oral or written contract of service or apprenticeship with an employer.1  An "employer" means any person, corporation, limited liability company, firm, partnership, voluntary association, joint stock association, the state and any public corporation within the state using the services of one or more employees for pay.2

  • An "agent" is a person authorized by another to act for that person with respect to a particular matter.3  A "principal" is one who has permitted or directed another to act for the principal's benefit subject to the principal's direction and control.4

  • A "fiduciary" includes any agent, trustee, partner, corporate officer, executor, administrator, trustee, conservator, guardian or any other representative owing a financial duty to another.5

Element 2 - Sought benefit without consent
The second element is that without consent of (his/her) (employer / principal), the defendant (solicited / accepted / agreed to accept) any benefit from another person.

For purposes of this statute, "person" means a human being and, where appropriate, a public or private corporation, a limited liability company, an unincorporated association, a partnership, or a government or a governmental instrumentality.

"Benefit" means monetary advantage, or anything regarded by the beneficiary as a monetary advantage, including a benefit to any person or entity in whose welfare the defendant is interested.  It makes no difference that the defendant does not actually receive the benefit.  The crime is committed if the defendant merely agrees to accept such benefit on behalf of (himself/herself) or another.

The defendant must have acted without the consent of (his/her) (employer / principal).  Consent by the (employer / principal) may be express or it may be implied from the circumstances that you find existed.  Consent must, however, have been actual and not simply an acquiescence brought about by fear or threat or a lack of knowledge of the intent of the defendant's actions.  That is, the act of consent must have been truly knowing and voluntary on the part of the (employer / principal). 

Element 3 - Intent to influence
The third element is that the defendant (solicited / accepted / agreed to accept) a benefit upon an agreement or understanding that such benefit would influence the defendant's conduct in relation to the defendant's (employer's / principal's) affairs.  A person acts "intentionally" with respect to a result when (his/her) conscious objective is to cause such result.  <See Intent: Specific, Instruction 2.3-1.> 

Element 4 - Agreement to influence
The final element is that the other person agreed or understood that the benefit would influence the defendant's conduct in relation to the defendant's (employer's / principal's) affairs.  It is not necessary that the state prove that there was a formal or express agreement between the defendant and the other person.  It is sufficient to show that the parties knowingly engaged in a mutual plan to influence the defendant's conduct in relation to the defendant's (employer's / principal's) affairs.  In addition, circumstantial evidence is sufficient to prove that there was such an agreement because agreements or understandings of this nature are often formed in secret and only rarely can be proven other than by circumstantial evidence.
 

Conclusion

In summary, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that 1) the defendant was (an employee / an agent / a fiduciary) of (an employer / a principal), 2) the defendant, without consent of (his/her) (employer / principal), (solicited / accepted / agreed to accept) any benefit from another person, 3) the defendant intended that such benefit would influence the defendant's conduct in relation to the defendant's (employer's / principal's) affairs, and 4) the other person agreed or understood that the benefit would influence the defendant's conduct in relation to the defendant's (employer's / principal's) affairs.

If you unanimously find that the state has proved beyond a reasonable doubt each of the elements of the crime of commercial bribery, then you shall find the defendant guilty.  On the other hand, if you unanimously find that the state has failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt any of the elements, you shall then find the defendant not guilty.
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1 General Statutes § 31-275 (9) (A) (i).

2 General Statutes § 31-275 (10).

3 Black's Law Dictionary (8th Ed. 2004).

4 Black's Law Dictionary (8th Ed. 2004).

5 General Statutes §§ 45a-199 and 42a-3-307 (a) (1).
 


 

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