1st Edition

Public Corruption in the United States Analysis of a Destructive Phenomenon

By Jeff Cortese Copyright 2022
    174 Pages
    by Routledge

    174 Pages
    by Routledge

    Public Corruption in the United States provides a comprehensive view of public corruption, including discussion on its types, methods, trends, challenges, and overall impact. It is the first book of its kind to examine in plain language the breadth of criminal public corruption in the United States, not just at a superficial level, but in a deeper context. By critically examining acts of corruption of elected, appointed and hired government officials (legislators, law enforcement, judges, etc.) at the local, state, and federal levels, the reader gains insight into the inner workings of corruption, including its relationship to terrorism and organized criminal networks. 

    Using simple language and easy-to-understand examples, this book is about empowering investigators, compliance professionals, educators, public officials, and everyday citizens who seek to better serve, support, and protect their communities and their country.

    Foreword by James Gagliano


    Part I: Identifying Corruption

    Chapter 1 The Basics: What is Corruption?

    Chapter 2 Investigating Corruption

    Chapter 3 Legislative, Executive, and Judicial Corruption

    Chapter 4 Law Enforcement and Regulatory Corruption

    Chapter 5 International Corruption and Indian Country

    Chapter 6 Prison Corruption 

    Chapter 7 Border Corruption

    Chapter 8 Disaster Relief Corruption and Fraud

    Chapter 9 Election Crimes (Fraud and Corruption)

    Chapter 10 Organized Crime and Corruption

    Part II: Combating Corruption

    Chapter 11 Impact of Corruption 

    Chapter 12 Four Pillars of an Anti-Corruption Posture

    Chapter 13 Proactive Intolerance

    Chapter 14 Ethics in Law Enforcement

    Chapter 15 Congressional Reform


    Jeff Cortese is an investigation, intelligence, and risk management professional who served in federal law enforcement with the United States Capitol Police as a member of the Speaker of the House’s security detail and with the FBI having been assigned to offices in New Orleans, Tucson, Washington D.C./FBI HQ, and San Francisco. Cortese, formerly the Acting Chief of the public corruption unit at the FBI, was assigned throughout his career to various investigative squads responsible for investigating public corruption, southwest border violence (sicarios and bajadores/hit-men and rip crews), and OCDETF matters. Since his departure from law enforcement, Cortese has provided extensive analysis for local and national outlets as a law enforcement analyst and student of corruption.

    "This work could only have been written by a true dedicated law enforcement professional who lived it for years, day in and day out. To a DOJ veteran like myself, it is powerful, authentic, accurate, and remarkably complete – demonstrating how pervasive corruption is across the entire social and political spectrum. Most importantly, it is straightforward and completely apolitical. No agendas here. Just remarkable knowledge and experience."

    Jim Letten, U.S. Attorney, (Retired) Eastern District of Louisiana

    "Public Corruption in the United States is a must-read front-line perspective for those considering a future in fighting corruption, law and business professors, as well as in-house personnel tasked with addressing corruption in their work and roles. Mr. Cortese brings a clear-eyed view as to the causes and consequences of corruption, starting with how to define it, recognize it and address it, as to protect people, organizations and society at large. If we want to have a world free of corruption, where integrity never has to be sacrificed, it needs to start with making difficult issues discussable, as Mr. Cortese has done in this well researched treatise that is foundational for any corruption or compliance library."

    Richard Bistrong, CEO, Front-Line Anti-Bribery LLC, and former FCPA violator

    "Public Corruption in the United States: Analysis of a Destructive Phenomenon is the ultimate guide for anyone interested in understanding how and why corruption eats away at trust in our institutions while also providing clear guidance on preventing it. Mr. Cortese makes an ironclad case why everyone interested in democracy needs to pay attention and get involved in stopping corruption at all levels, regardless of ideology or partisanship."

    Ethan Bearman, Attorney, Political Analyst, and co-host of the Law Junkie Show

    "Jeff Cortese’s work should be required reading for elected officials and newsrooms. Cortese brings a rare depth of expertise as someone who has investigated breaches of integrity in government at the highest levels. Thinkers like Cortese safeguard our way of life in the United States and I cannot overstate how necessary they are at this moment in history."

    Adam S. Lee, Chief Security Officer, Dominion Energy (former FBI Special Agent in Charge and national program executive over Public Corruption and Civil Rights Programs)