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The thin line between fraud and bribery

According to the U.S. News & World Report, the 51st person was charged in the college admissions scheme on June 28. Jefferey Bizzack pleaded guilty to paying $250,000 so his son could attend the University of Southern California as a volleyball recruit.

Bizzack is only one of many to face serious charges in this widespread scandal. The sheer number of charges included in this scandal can bring forth a lot of questions, particularly the relationship between fraud and bribery.

Fraud v. bribery

Bizzack, like most of the parents involved in this case, faces charges of fraud and conspiracy. However, the article also refers to the entire matter as the "college bribery scheme."

Even though both fraud and bribery play major parts in this case, they are very different:

  • Fraud is an act of misrepresentation or deception that allows someone to obtain a financial gain or another benefit. 
  • Bribery, on the other hand, is the offer or request for a financial payment that influences a decision or action.

These are very different acts that involve very different charges. However, they are a dangerous mix when they appear in the same situation.

Bribery and fraud are usually together in big cases like these

Cases that grow as large as the college admissions scheme often end up involving both of these charges. This is primarily because individuals engage in bribery to cover up a fraudulent act, or vice versa.

Many big white-collar cases over the years demonstrate how these very different charges often intersect. There are significant penalties if individuals face these charges alone, and the risks are even higher for a combination of these charges.

Avoiding the issue is the last thing you want to do

Many people might hope that avoiding these charges might make them disappear. However, that often only serves to make them worse.

It is critical to fight these charges, but individuals should not face them alone. Contacting an experienced defense attorney as soon as possible can help you understand the options available to protect your future and your rights.

There are too many risks and consequences involved to handle these charges alone, as the college admissions scheme demonstrates. Individuals facing complex charges like this can reduce those risks when they get an experienced attorney on their side. 

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