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Criminal Jury Instructions

Criminal Jury Instructions Home

4.1-5  Commercial Bribery -- § 53a-160

Revised to December 1, 2007

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

a person is guilty of commercial bribery when (he/she) (confers / agrees to confer) any benefit upon any (employee / agent / fiduciary) without the consent of the latter's (employer / principal), with intent to 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 - Benefit offered
The first element is that the defendant conferred or agreed to confer a benefit upon an (employee / agent / fiduciary).  "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 beneficiary is interested.  It makes no difference that the beneficiary does not accept or receive the benefit.  The crime is committed if the defendant merely makes the offer to confer such a benefit, or even if (he/she) merely agrees to confer such benefit.

The state must also prove that <insert name of target of bribe> was an (employee / agent / fiduciary) of a[n] (employer / principal).  The law prohibits the corruption or subordination of (employees / agents / fiduciaries) in the performance of their duties for their (employers / principals).  The first duty of such a person is to be faithful and loyal to the interests of (his/her) (employer / principal).  If you find, therefore, that <insert name of target of bribe> was acting in (his/her) own right and that (he/she) owed no duty to another as a[n] (employee / agent / fiduciary), you may not find the defendant liable under this statute.  

<Insert the applicable definitions:>

  • An "employee" means any person who has entered into or works under any 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 other 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 - Lack of consent
The second element is that at the time (he/she) offered or agreed to offer the benefit, the defendant did not have the consent of the (employee's / agent's / fiduciary's) (employer / principal).

Thus, if you find that the state has failed to prove that the (employer / principal) did not consent to the defendant's offer or agreement to confer a benefit on (his/her) (employee / agent / fiduciary), you may not find the defendant liable under this statute.  Consent 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 (employee's / agent's / fiduciary's) actions.  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's actions were made with the specific intent to influence the (employee's / agent's / fiduciary's) conduct in relation to the (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.>

That is, the state must prove that the defendant knew that <insert name of target of bribe> was (in the employ / an agent/ a fiduciary) of another person and was not a principal acting in (his/her) own behalf and that the benefit was conferred or agreed to be conferred with the intent to affect some decision of <insert name of target of bribe> involving some exercise of (his/her) discretion with respect to (his/her) (employer's / principal's) affairs.

Conclusion

In summary, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that 1) the defendant conferred or agreed to confer a benefit upon an (employee / agent / fiduciary), 2) at the time (he/she) offered or agreed to offer the benefit, the defendant did not have the consent of the (employee's / agent's / fiduciary's) (employer / principal), and 3) the defendant's actions were made with the specific intent to influence the (employee's / agent's / fiduciary's) conduct in relation to the (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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