Section 249B Crimes Act | Corrupt Commissions or Rewards


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An agent-principal relationship is where one person (the agent) does work on behalf of another person (the principal).

These relationships are based on mutual trust and confidence and there should not be any conflicting interests between the two persons.

Accordingly, it is against the law for an agent to receive or solicit any inducements or rewards as an incentive to do, or refrain from doing something in relation to the affairs or business of the principal.

An agent may also face charges under this section where they are given a reward or bribe to encourage them to “favour or disfavour” another person in relation to the principal’s affairs or business.

If found guilty, the agent may be gaoled for up to 7 years.

You can also be charged under this section if you are the person offering the bribe or reward.

In these cases, the maximum penalty is also 7 years imprisonment.

However, while these penalties may seem lengthy, it is important to remember that they are maximum penalties only.

Our highly experienced lawyers can help cast doubt on the prosecution case by raising any defences and evidence that supports your case in order to avoid these harsh penalties.

The Legislation

Section 249B of the Crimes Act 1900 deals with the offence of “corrupt commissions or rewards” and reads as follows:

249B Corrupt commissions or rewards

(1) If any agent corruptly receives or solicits (or corruptly agrees to receive or solicit) from another person for the agent or for anyone else any benefit:

(a) as an inducement or reward for or otherwise on account of:

(i) doing or not doing something, or having done or not having done something, or

(ii) showing or not showing, or having shown or not having shown, favour or disfavour to any person,

in relation to the affairs or business of the agent’s principal, or

(b) the receipt or any expectation of which would in any way tend to influence the agent to show, or not to show, favour or disfavour to any person in relation to the affairs or business of the agent’s principal,

the agent is liable to imprisonment for 7 years.

(2) If any person corruptly gives or offers to give to any agent, or to any other person with the consent or at the request of any agent, any benefit:

(a) as an inducement or reward for or otherwise on account of the agent’s:

(i) doing or not doing something, or having done or not having done something, or

(ii) showing or not showing, or having shown or not having shown, favour or disfavour to any person,

in relation to the affairs or business of the agent’s principal, or

(b) the receipt or any expectation of which would in any way tend to influence the agent to show, or not to show, favour or disfavour to any person in relation to the affairs or business of the agent’s principal,

the first-mentioned person is liable to imprisonment for 7 years.

(3) For the purposes of subsection (1), where a benefit is received or solicited by anyone with the consent or at the request of an agent, the agent shall be deemed to have received or solicited the benefit.

Why Sydney Criminal Lawyers?

Being accused of corrupt conduct, such as offering or receiving bribes can have serious implications on your life and future.

However, while it can be deeply confronting and stressful to be the subject of such accusations, it can be comforting to know that Sydney’s best criminal lawyers are fighting hard to protect your rights.

In every case, our lawyers push to have the charges dropped at an early stage by identifying problems with the evidence and raising these issues with the prosecution.

Often, this means that our clients avoid the time-consuming and expensive process of fighting the charges in court.

However, where the prosecution refuses to drop the charges, rest assured that our lawyers will fight hard to defend your innocence and protect your rights by raising all possible defences and casting doubt on the prosecution case.

We can also assist you in obtaining the most favourable outcome possible where you simply wish to plead guilty to the offence.

Call is today on (02) 9261 8881 to arrange a free first conference.