MAY 11, 2006
In the last two years alone, more than 1,000 public employees have been convicted on corruption-related charges. The figure, provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), includes 177 federal officials, 158 state officials, 360 local officials and 365 local law enforcement officers.
Additionally, the FBI currently has more than 2,000 investigations under way that are related to corrupt public officials or government employees. Fraud is so widespread in the public sector that the bureau has shifted agents from other criminal programs, such as ones that focus on localized drug rings and nonviolent bank robberies, to handle the large caseload.
The FBI’s aggressive campaign against public corruption apparently is responsible for several high-profile cases such as convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff, the racketeering and fraud conviction of former Illinois Governor George Ryan and California Congressman Randy Cunningham, who is in jail for taking $2.4 million in bribes from military contractors.
Anyone with tips about corruption at any level of government can report to the FBI’s new web site.
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