What's Hot, How-to

Supreme Court Poised to Okay Use of Some Gifts After a Sale

Thank youA court case focused on when it’s illegal for state and local officials and institutions that receive federal monies to accept gifts and payments meant to influence or reward their decisions may loosen restrictions on gifts made after a sale is completed.

Click here for links to RRN Preferred Solution Providers.
According to a recent report in the New York Times, the Supreme Court seems ready to  “limit the reach of a federal statute that makes it a crime for state and local officials, along with institutions that receive federal money, to accept gifts and payments meant to influence or reward their actions.”
It is illegal to offer officials gifts in advance of a sale; this case addresses gifting after a sale to a government agency is completed.
The court argument reportedly was “studded with hypothetical questions about gifts as varied as cookies, Starbucks gift cards, meals at the Cheesecake Factory and 10-figure donations to hospitals...A majority of the justices seemed persuaded that the government’s interpretation of the law was too broad.”
The case is based on an appeal from a state official who was jailed for accepting a $13,000 consulting fee after a purchase of garbage trucks by his city was completed. The question for the justices is whether the law applies only to before-the-fact bribes or also to after-the-fact gratuities.”
The claimant’s attorney before the judges, Lisa S. Blatt, “warned the justices that a broad reading of the law would turn routine gifts into crimes backed by 10-year prison sentences. She added that it was impossible to draw a workable line between prohibited gifts and permissible ones.”
She is quoted as saying: “I don’t know where on the Harry & David menu the gift becomes corrupt.”
Following this reasoning, “the gift of a meal at Chipotle was probably permissible, while one at the Inn at Little Washington, an expensive restaurant in Virginia, would not be. The hard question, she said, is where to draw the line.”
Asked about the ruling, Incentive Federation attorney George Delta wrote, "This case isn’t about giving gifts so much as it is about payoffs after the fact, i.e., bribes. The Supreme Court has been gutting federal bribery statutes, and this is the latest salvo. If anything, this case will make it much easier to give gifts (including gift cards) legally after the fact. In the case before the court, a mayor appears to have rigged a bidding process on behalf of a company. After the successful bid, it paid him $13,000 for ‘consulting services.’ The court looks poised to rule that a gift after the fact does not constitute a bribe.”

How RRN and Brand Media Coalition: Your Partner in Success in Incentives, Rewards, and RecognitionEnterprise Engagement for CEOs

Published by the Enterprise Engagement Alliance at TheEEA.org

  • The only weekly news, how-to and resource publication of record for the Incentive, Rewards, and Recognition field.
  • The only marketing agency focusing specifically on the IRR and broader engagement marketplace.
Contact Bruce Bolger at 914-591-7600, ext. 230 or email Bolger@TheEEA.org when you want to get to know or get known in this growing $176 billion marketplace.

The Industry’s Only Combined Media Platform and Marketing Agency to Help You Expand Your Business Enterprise Engagement: The Roadmap
  • All the industry news, research, announcements, and how-to articles read by over 20,000 end-users in sales, marketing, and human resources; incentive, recognition, loyalty and promotional companies, as well as marketing and human resources agencies, seeking to enhance performance through effectively designed incentive programs.
  • Unparalleled business development services for engagement, incentive and incentive travel, recognition firms; brands, gift cards and master fulfillment companies, and technology firms, featuring ROI-based business development strategy design and ongoing digital and social media and e-newsletter communications to help marketers profit in the coming era of cookie-less marketing. 
  • Unique abilities for solution providers to sponsor authoritative, evergreen content directly related to what they sell through the EEA’s Effective Practices series on articles in our media platforms.
  • EEA YouTube Channel with over three dozen how-to and insight videos and growing with nearly 100 expert guests.
  • Access to new technologies from EEA preferred solution providers enabling brands to create their own points-based or transactional redemption site.
  • Unparalleled expertise in program design, return on investment measurement, reporting, and prescriptive analytics.
Click here for complete information on all our services. 
Earn Big $ In EEA Referral Program
Brand Media Resources
EME Gold
Brand Resources
  • Pulse Experiential Travel
  • Amazon
  • 1-800-flowers
  • Luxury Brands
  • Links Unlimited

  • Partners for Incentives
  • Ray Ban
  • TaylorMade
  • UGG
  • Yeti