What started out as a case for the California courts is now in the hands of the federal government. 2 men in their mid-to-late fifties (names withheld to protect the accused) were originally accused of sex trafficking (CA Penal Code 236.1)and running a brothel (Acucare Oriental Massage) on Adeline Street in Emeryville, for which they were arrested for 30 different felonies, including pimping, pandering, and tax fraud. Now, they will have to face federal prosecutors on charges of conspiracy and bribery.
As part of their investigation, members of the Department of Justice and Homeland Security used confidential informants and undercover policepersons in order to further their case. In fact, the bribery charge stems from an alleged attempt to bribe both the police captain who was, at that time, working ‘undercover’ as a crooked cop and an undercover Homeland Security agent who was undercover as a bribable immigration officer.
Certainly, operating an illegal house of prostitution will get you into some pretty deep trouble, but if you bribe a public official, the penalties are just as harsh. California Penal Code 67 and 68 deal with the bribery of any public employee or executive officer. This could include everyone from a district attorney to a police officer to a building inspector. Anyone who is considered a public official or is working in a public capacity may count as a ‘public employee’ or an ‘executive officer.’ Bribery of this kind is nearly always considered a felony in the state of California and may result in up to a 4-year stint in state prison. Additionally, there is always the possibility that a particular judge will order you to pay restitution and be barred from ever running for office yourself.