Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Roger C. Stanton, in partnership with United States Attorney (USA) Joyce White Vance, announced today a new initiative aimed to solicit the public’s help in combating fraud and corruption throughout north Alabama.
This new joint initiative establishes a toll-free public corruption hotline, 844-404-TIPS (8477), and e-mail address, PCTips@ic.fbi.gov. The FBI’s number one criminal priority is to address public corruption at all levels of government. Many times, these crimes can be difficult to detect because of their secretive nature and even more difficult to prove without the assistance of concerned citizens.
The initiative will also include training conferences to be held in Birmingham and Huntsville to assist the public and those who work in government in understanding public corruption laws and ethics rules.
The hotline number will also be featured on Lamar billboards throughout north Alabama starting today.
While the vast majority of government officials are honest in their work and committed to serving their fellow citizens, unfortunately, a small percentage of public officials abuse their office and the position which they were sworn to uphold.
“The public’s help can make all the difference, and this initiative gives the public the necessary tools to provide that help. I want the citizens of north Alabama to know that if they have information about potential wrongdoing by a public official or law enforcement officer, the FBI wants to hear from you,” SAC Stanton said.
“Public corruption is a breach of the public’s trust by government officials who use their office for personal enrichment,” U.S. Attorney Vance said. “Because these crimes are the result of secret deals sealed with quick handshakes and money paid on the side, the public’s help is indispensable in holding accountable corrupt officials and contractors who misuse the taxpayers’ money. Greed and self-interest have no place in public service, and violations of the law will be thoroughly investigated and prosecuted,” she said.
Public corruption occurs when a public official, at any level of government, does any official act in exchange for money or other free goods or services. Accepting a bribe for awarding a contract, taking a kickback for providing a permit, or inaction by law enforcement for payment are examples of types of public corruption. A violation of federal law, public corruption includes bribes, embezzlement, racketeering, kickbacks, and money laundering, as well as wire, mail, bank, and tax fraud—all of which occur at the public’s expense.
Details regarding the various types of public corruption investigated by the FBI can be on the FBI's website.