Honesty A Federal Law

Table of Contents

Commissioned Work

The following is a commissioned work and reflects their opinions, concepts and knowledge.

Summary: City of Enumclaw and related departments have enguaged, through the full support of King County Prosecutors, Judges and lawyers to deprive Sound Doctrine Church, aka, Timothy Williams of honest legal services.

The following is provided as background information.


Deprivation of Honest Service

The Deprivation of Honest Services: An Analysis of Federal Law

One of the most important tenets of our economic system is that goods and services are rendered honestly. Whether you are the CEO of a startup or a sales representative at a much larger company, you are expected to engage in arms-length transactions with others.

The unfortunate reality? It doesn’t always work that way. It is why we have law enforcement officers and a judicial system. If individuals and companies engage in transactions through illegal practices, the government should step in and implement the appropriate punishment.

With this background, I want to spend this blog post speaking about the deprivation of honest services. Also called honest services fraud, this is a crime that has involved notable government officials and CEOs, including former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, lobbyist Jack Abramoff, and Enron CEO Jeff Skilling. Compared to other types of crimes, honest services fraud is relatively new. At the same time, there have been several notable cases that have changed the doctrine to what it is today.

For those in the legal field, having a good understanding of honest services fraud can help you better advise your clients. But even if you aren’t in the legal field, recognizing what honest services fraud is can give you a better appreciation for how our justice system tries to create an equal playing field.

A Brief Background on the Deprivation of Honest Services

So as a starting point: what exactly is the deprivation of honest services?

Let’s start at the core. You can think of it as a scheme to prevent someone (or a group of people) from the intangible right to honest services. This typically occurs through bribery or kickbacks. You can imagine a situation where, for instance, a mayor takes a bribe to give a contract to a specific person or company. The idea here is that because the mayor is taking the bribe, there isn’t a level playing field for other companies and persons to bid for that specific contract.

We can trace the concept of deprivation of honest services back to the 1940s. Then, there wasn’t a specific statute that dealt with the deprivation of honest services. That being said, courts would rely on wire fraud and mail fraud statutes to adjudicate similar disputes. One of the more relevant decisions on this point was a 1987 case called McNally v. United States. There, the U.S. Supreme Court, among other things, ruled that these types of statutes strictly related to schemes or plans where criminals would defraud victims of tangible items. These tangible items included money. In effect, what the Supreme Court did here was reject the honest services theory.

One year later, the U.S. Congress decided to act. It codified the concept of deprivation of honest services in 18 U.S.C. § 1346. That law specifically included honest services fraud. If you were to look at the statute as it was drafted, you would see that it defines the term “scheme or artifice to defraud” to include a scheme to deprive someone else of the intangible right of honest services. If you were to look at it in practice, 18 U.S.C. § 1346 abrogated the McNally holding.

After the statute was passed, the scope of honest services fraud remained broad. However, in 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court took on another case called Skilling v. United States. There, the Court decided to give a more narrow interpretation of 18 U.S.C. § 1346. Specifically, it narrowed its interpretation of the statute to include only bribery and kickback schemes. In part, the court did this so that it wouldn’t have to find the statute unconstitutionally vague.

The Skilling case is notable for several reasons. For one thing, Skilling refers to Jeff Skilling, the former CEO of Enron. But beyond the character involved, there was an important doctrine change in this case. Essentially, after the Skilling litigation, honest services fraud charges must involve clear bribery or kickback schemes. Unlike in the past, a prosecutor couldn’t just show ethical violations or conflicts of interest. Because this is a narrower interpretation of 18 U.S.C. § 1346, it has somewhat limited its application. This is particularly true in public corruption cases where there aren’t explicit quid pro quo transactions. Ultimately, if they don’t exist, it is much harder for prosecutors to rely on the statute and get a conviction.

What Deprivation of Honest Services Means For You

As you can see, the codified concept of the deprivation of honest services hasn’t been around for that long. Nonetheless, it is a critical part of ensuring that all of us are operating on an even playing field.

Looking at the case law, however, is one thing. Actually applying these principles in our daily lives is another thing. Consequently, I want to spend this section talking about what the deprivation of honest services means to you.

So let’s start from a slightly higher level. Honest services fraud typically involves three parties.

The first party is the offender. This offender violates their fiduciary duty through kickbacks or bribery. Here, you can think of a person like a mayor or city official. The second party is the victim. This is the person who is deprived of honest services. The last party is the person who provides the bribe or kickback. Using the mayor example, this is the person that is giving the mayor a bribe.

Now that we have all of the parties, let’s talk about what prosecutors need to prove for an honest services fraud conviction. There are four “prongs” to this test. First, the prosecutors must show that a scheme to defraud existed. Then, they must show that the defendant willfully participated in the scheme. From there, the prosecutors have to show that the scheme had the potential to cause harm by depriving honest services. Finally, the prosecutors must show that mail or wire services were used in the scheme. Once all of these prongs are proven, the prosecutors can get a conviction for honest services fraud.

If you are a lawyer, government employee, or private sector employee, you will definitely want to tread lightly. As you can see from some of the higher-profile cases, prosecutors won’t hesitate to go after individuals who engage in honest services fraud.

Let’s start with lawyers and city attorneys. If you engage in the practice of law for a living, you will definitely need to be aware of your responsibilities here. As a fiduciary to your client (whether that’s an individual, corporation, or municipality), you could be charged with honest services fraud if you accept bribes or kickbacks that compromise your professional duties.

For instance, let’s say that you are a lawyer who is representing a client in a civil matter. If you deliberately provide poor representation to a client in exchange for kickbacks from the opposing party, a prosecutor could go after you for honest services fraud. Or let’s assume you are a city attorney. You could potentially be found liable if you accept bribes from a real estate developer to influence zoning decisions or approve building permits. As an attorney, you must be extremely vigilant here and make sure you aren’t violating the statute or your professional responsibility obligations.

From there, let’s talk about government employees. They must be especially aware of the statute and how their work could potentially cross an illegal line. Let’s start with a simple example. A mayor can’t award a city contract to a construction company in exchange for campaign contributions or personal payments. We can go one step further and look at a state legislator. If that state legislator votes for or against certain bills based on bribes or payments from lobbyists, he or she could be convicted of honest services fraud. The same is true of a federal agency employee leaking confidential information to a private company for personal gain.

Finally, let’s talk about private sector employees. Like public service employees, they must follow the statute to avoid an honest services fraud conviction. For example, there could be a violation if a CEO accepts kickbacks from suppliers in exchange for awarding them contracts. The case would be even more clear-cut if those suppliers offered inferior products or services. Here, there is a quid pro quo that results in an uneven playing field for other suppliers.

Following the Statute and Case Law

Honest services fraud is a serious crime. Whether you work in the public sector or private sector, you should consult legal counsel if you have any questions about the statute’s application.

But putting aside the practicalities, I hope that you can see how the deprivation of honest services has become a mainstay in the American legal system. Even though the doctrine is slightly more narrow than it was in the past, it exists and is a way to create more fairness in American society today. As the case law continues to evolve, it is critical to pay attention to the doctrine in the coming years.

Related Information

Had anyone of these individuals actually done their job the active hate crime would have been exposed quickly and efficently.

Instead each participated in ignoring evidence and facts to protect their positions. All of these individuals below were confronted clearly with truthful evidence but chose to continue the hatecrime and corruption institutionalize within the Washington State legal system.

This Enumclaw Police, notably, Grant McCall knew would happen – and so the support of his crimes took place.

King County Judge Marlin J. Appelwick
King County Judge Ronald E. Cox
City of Enumclaw, Washington, Attorney
Governor Jay Inslee
Bob Ferguson Washington State Attorney General
Prosecutor Dan Satterberg
Prosecutor David Seaver
Prosecutor Jason Simmons
Prosecutor Lisa Johnson
Prosecutor Mark Larson
Prosecutor Nicole Weston
Prosecutor Rich Anderson
Prosecutor Paul G. Sewell
Washington State Judge Lori K. Smith
Enumclaw City Council
Washington State Supreme Court
Beau Chevassus
Commander Tim Floyd
Enumclaw Attorney Mike Reynolds
King County Judge Marlin J. Appelwick
King County Judge Ronald E. Cox,
King County Judge Stephen J. Dwyer
King County Superior Court
State of Washington, Plaintiff, V. Malcolm Fraser
Court of Appeals State of Washington Respondent, V. Malcolm Fraser
Ian Goodhew
Enumclaw Police Department Enumclaw, Washington 98022
Berean Baptist Church Puyallup, Washington who should have publically disfellowshipped "Detective" McCall.
Attorney General Bob Ferguson Washington State

Disclaimer

The Consider Podcast hosts attempt to express opinions through God’s holiness.
Views expressed by others are their opinions. Nothing concerning justice or injustice should be taken as legal advice or a call to action. There is no political agenda. There is no church to join. There is no individual moral life advice. Each person is solely responsible before God and man for their beliefs, actions or inactions. The Consider Podcast is narrowly focused on one thing, and only one thing – the need for all to surrender to a life of repentance according to the whole gospel.

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Acts 26:13-14
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