2006 Federal Sentencing Guidelines


CHAPTER TWO - PART C - OFFENSES INVOLVING PUBLIC OFFICIALS AND VIOLATIONS OF FEDERAL ELECTION CAMPAIGN LAWS

§2C1.8. Making, Receiving, or Failing to Report a Contribution, Donation, or Expenditure in Violation of the Federal Election Campaign Act; Fraudulently Misrepresenting Campaign Authority; Soliciting or Receiving a Donation in Connection with an Election While on Certain Federal Property

(a) Base Offense Level: 8

(b)        Specific Offense Characteristics

(1) If the value of the illegal transactions exceeded $5,000, increase by the number of levels from the table in §2B1.1 (Theft, Property Destruction, and Fraud) corresponding to that amount.

(2) (Apply the greater) If the offense involved, directly or indirectly, an illegal transaction made by or received from—

(A) a foreign national, increase by 2 levels; or

(B) a government of a foreign country, increase by 4 levels.

(3) If (A) the offense involved the contribution, donation, solicitation, expenditure, disbursement, or receipt of governmental funds; or (B) the defendant committed the offense for the purpose of obtaining a specific, identifiable non-monetary Federal benefit, increase by 2 levels.

(4) If the defendant engaged in 30 or more illegal transactions, increase by 2 levels.

(5) If the offense involved a contribution, donation, solicitation, or expenditure made or obtained through intimidation, threat of pecuniary or other harm, or coercion, increase by 4 levels.

(c) Cross Reference

(1) If the offense involved a bribe or gratuity, apply §2C1.1 (Offering, Giving, Soliciting, or Receiving a Bribe; Extortion Under Color of Official Right; Fraud Involving the Deprivation of the Intangible Right to Honest Services of Public Officials; Conspiracy to Defraud by Interference with Governmental Functions) or §2C1.2 (Offering, Giving, Soliciting, or Receiving a Gratuity), as appropriate, if the resulting offense level is greater than the offense level determined above.

Commentary

Statutory Provisions: 2 U.S.C. §§ 437g(d)(1), 439a, 441a, 441a-1, 441b, 441c, 441d, 441e, 441f, 441g, 441h(a), 441i, 441k; 18 U.S.C. § 607. For additional provision(s), see Statutory Index (Appendix A).

Application Notes:

1. Definitions.—For purposes of this guideline:

"Foreign national" has the meaning given that term in section 319(b) of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, 2 U.S.C. § 441e(b).

"Government of a foreign country" has the meaning given that term in section 1(e) of the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938 (22 U.S.C. § 611(e)).

"Governmental funds" means money, assets, or property, of the United States government, of a State government, or of a local government, including any branch, subdivision, department, agency, or other component of any such government. "State" means any of the fifty States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, or American Samoa. "Local government" means the government of a political subdivision of a State.

"Illegal transaction" means (A) any contribution, donation, solicitation, or expenditure of money or anything of value, or any other conduct, prohibited by the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, 2 U.S.C. § 431 et seq; (B) any contribution, donation, solicitation, or expenditure of money or anything of value made in excess of the amount of such contribution, donation, solicitation, or expenditure that may be made under such Act; and (C) in the case of a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 607, any solicitation or receipt of money or anything of value under that section. The terms "contribution" and "expenditure" have the meaning given those terms in section 301(8) and (9) of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (2 U.S.C. § 431(8) and (9)), respectively.

2. Application of Subsection (b)(3)(B).—Subsection (b)(3)(B) provides an enhancement for a defendant who commits the offense for the purpose of achieving a specific, identifiable non-monetary Federal benefit that does not rise to the level of a bribe or a gratuity. Subsection (b)(3)(B) is not intended to apply to offenses under this guideline in which the defendant’s only motivation for commission of the offense is generally to achieve increased visibility with, or heightened access to, public officials. Rather, subsection (b)(3)(B) is intended to apply to defendants who commit the offense to obtain a specific, identifiable non-monetary Federal benefit, such as a Presidential pardon or information proprietary to the government.

3. Application of Subsection (b)(4).—Subsection (b)(4) shall apply if the defendant engaged in any combination of 30 or more illegal transactions during the course of the offense, whether or not the illegal transactions resulted in a conviction for such conduct.

4. Departure Provision.—In a case in which the defendant’s conduct was part of a systematic or pervasive corruption of a governmental function, process, or office that may cause loss of public confidence in government, an upward departure may be warranted.

Historical Note: Effective January 25, 2003 (see Appendix C, amendment 648). Amended effective November 1, 2003 (see Appendix C, amendment 656); November 1, 2005 (see Appendix C, amendment 679).